World news – AU – « Wonder Woman 1984 » is « a win-win situation in a difficult situation » as seen by AT&T’s CFO John Stephens

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AT&T CFO John Stevens described the flagship simultaneous release of Wonder Woman 1984 in theaters and on HBO Max as « a win-win for everyone in a tough situation. ».

On his Friday internet appearance at the Morgan Stanley European Media, Tech and Telecom conference, he commended WarnerMedia CEO Jason Keelar and his staff « for being so helpful and thinking differently to do something for the first time..

Stephens said the release, which will be free for streaming subscribers on Christmas Day and simultaneously reach theaters able to stay open despite COVID-19, is at a « really difficult time » for performers. . “They are really hungry for great content. And he continued, « For WarnerMedia and AT&T, the arrangement » provides us with a great opportunity to showcase HBO Max and get an invitation from the elite to come and not only use the HBO Max to watch Wonder Woman 1984, but then to achieve the great thing depth and quality of service. « .

As the last of the billion-dollar competitors to Netflix that launched over a seven-month period in 2019 and 2020, HBO Max was not an immediate victory, although executives say it is achieving initial goals.. One of the obstacles was the distribution – about 8. 6 million accounts activated, but 28 more. 7 million people have not used free access to HBO Max. Third-party distribution was also a bottleneck, though the company reached a deal with Amazon Fire TV on Monday. Roku, which has 46 million active accounts, is another top-tier streaming site where HBO Max isn’t available yet.

Stevens, who announced this week his plan to retire in early 2021, said the company is « really happy » to strike a deal with Amazon.. Moderator Simon Flannery, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, didn’t ask about Roku.

The 40-minute conversation covered a number of other areas, including the international launch of HBO Max, the status of TV advertising, and the AT&T show of linear networks such as TNT and CNN..

Stevens said written subscriptions and advertising revenue were still « important to us, » noting sports rights and viewership on CNN in the election year, which « took it off the scene. ». As these linear operations are « good cash flow generators », Stevens indicated that they will not change anytime soon, despite M&A’s constant speculation about them amidst the cutoff of pay TV wires. He added, « It fits really well and gives us scope within this piece of industry, so we feel good about having it. ».

The company, which has given up its assets over the past two years such as Puerto Rican operations, ownership of the headquarters building in New York City and a 10% stake in Hulu, continues to determine other things to sell.. Flannery hasn’t asked Stevens about DirecTV, which is being explored as a major checkout item on the balance sheet. But the CFO emphasized that the company’s debt burden is less of a concern than many investors think. The company reported $ 149 billion in net debt as of September 30, down from $ 180 billion when the Time Warner acquisition closed in June 2018..

Stevens described AT&T’s debt obligations to the end of the contract as « a very manageable and easily manageable situation. ». He noted that « interest rates on long-term debt are still » very low. « . “As far as debt metrics go, it’s amazing, if you compare us to some of the others in the industry, in the cable industry or the entertainment industry, you will find that our metrics are very good.. They compare well because of all the things we did this year to achieve this challenging pandemic cycle. . . . We are in a better position than many competitors in the industry today. I don’t think people realize that yet.

Wonder Woman 1984, Gal Gadot, Warner Bros. , Patty Jenkins

World News – AU – The issue of « Wonder Woman 1984 » is « a win-win situation in a difficult situation » as seen by AT&T CFO John Stephens
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