US telecoms and media giant AT&T has doubled-down on its Time Warner acquisition by committing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more.
The deal is with Bad Robot Productions, which is run by Hollywood figure JJ Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath. The total value of the deal hasn’t been revealed, but media speculation ranges between $250-$500 million. Bad Robot gets involved in movies, TV, games and digital platforms and it looks like it will devote itself entirely to AT&T subsidiary Warner Media for the duration of the deal.
“WarnerMedia and AT&T are delighted to launch a long-term collaboration with our world-class partners and colleagues JJ Abrams and Katie McGrath,” said AT&T COO and CEO of WanrerMedia John Stankey. “We are extremely excited about the potential to deliver remarkable and memorable stories and characters across multiple platforms to audiences around the world.
“JJ, Katie and all of Bad Robot bring extraordinary vision, exquisite filmmaking, and exemplary industry leadership to this endeavour and our company. Across all forms of content, we are uniquely positioned to offer our creative partners a multitude of platforms to realize their artistic goals and ambitions, and to ensure that their stories have the best possible opportunity to connect with the right audience.”
“It is a thrill for Katie, Brian (Weinstein) and me and the rest of our team at Bad Robot to call WarnerMedia our company’s new home,” said Abrams. “John Stankey has a powerful vision for the future of WarnerMedia and is committed to storytelling that connects people around the world. We are excited and gratified to be a part of this new chapter under his and Ann Sarnoff’s thoughtful leadership.
“I could go on for hours, and probably will, about the extraordinary Peter Roth and the entire Warner’s television group, with whom we’ve worked for over a decade, and I’ve wanted to collaborate with Toby Emmerich and his team for as long as I can remember. I am grateful for the chance to write, produce and direct work for this incredible company, and to help create films and series with a diverse and vast collection of inspiring storytellers. We can’t wait to get started.”
With the launch of Apple + and Disney + in addition to the deep pockets of Netflix and Amazon the content world has never been more competitive. There’s an arms race underway regarding investment in premium content so AT&T needs to at least keep up if hopes to make its massive Time Warner acquisition a success.