AT & T's WarnerMedia is on the verge of securing J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Pictures in a $ 500 million exclusive deal, according to The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, Deadline, The Los Angeles Times, and others.
Bad Robot Pictures and Abrams, which produce TV shows under the label Warner Bros. since 2006, have been courted by almost all the major players in the entertainment sector in the last six months. Apple, Comcast, Netflix, Sony Entertainment and Amazon have all signed agreements with Abrams, the source said. Journalist. Some aspects of the agreement are still uncertain, especially if Abrams will be allowed or not to direct films for competitors, which was a clause of his previous deal. That's why he could return live Star Wars: The rise of Skywalker for Disney, out this year.
What the agreement will give to AT & T and WarnerMedia is a first rate deal on all that Bad Robot produces, according to The New York Times. The agreement covers "movies, TV shows, video games, consumer products, music and digital content for WarnerMedia's streaming service expected to arrive early next year", said the president. Time reports. WarnerMedia is also taking over Bad Robot's exclusive film contract with Paramount Pictures (where Abrams has produced and directed several Star Trek films).
The $ 500 million deal signed by Abrams is just one sign that many companies, including streaming services, are gearing up for the future. Netflix paid well for multi-year contracts with The anatomy of Gray creator Shonda Rhimes and American horror story creator Ryan Murphy at $ 100 million and $ 300 million respectively. Warner Bros. TV also donated $ 400 million to Greg Berlanti, creator of Arrow Universe for The CW, to keep his contract exclusive.
As more and more shows and movies enter the market, more and more streaming services are looking for their own version of one. Game of thrones or Strange things – a major issue to attract subscribers. Abrams' Bad Robot is currently working on the third season of Westworld (HBO is a subsidiary of WarnerMedia), and it is fair to assume that this will continue under the agreement because it is a property of WarnerMedia.
Another question is whether this decision will please AT & T shareholders, which could affect the ability of the company to enter into other transactions and purchases of this type. Numerous reports of investors' concerns about AT & T's WarnerMedia plan have been released in recent months as analysts fear that AT & T will have too many bullets to handle. The company currently has a debt of $ 171 billion. According to General Manager Randall Stephenson, she will return to normal by 2022. Jennifer Fritzsche, Senior Analyst at Wells Fargo, wrote in a report published in 2018: Cash. "
Other analysts are concerned about WarnerMedia's ability to create original content that will attract and retain subscribers. WarnerMedia has an extensive catalog of films and shows, including Friends, A show that Netflix has paid $ 100 million to keep for a year, but the ability of WarnerMedia to produce this original content is worrying.
Investing $ 500 million in Bad Robot and Abrams can be a way to alleviate these concerns, but it's a significant number – more than any of the aforementioned companies has already paid for just one creative person. The company has also recently signed lucrative contracts with Mindy Kaling (The Mindy project) and Ava DuVernay (When they see us). The company has attempted to conclude a new agreement to The Big Bang Theory creator Chuck Lorre, whose contract with Warner Bros. TV ends in 2020.
WarnerMedia is expected to launch its subscription streaming service this fall, and "keeping Abrams in the fold was considered a high priority for the independent studio," the source said. Journalist. Although there is no launch date or price confirmed, it would cost between $ 16 and $ 17 a month. This places it at the highest level of streaming service costs, but this will include a subscription to HBO Now, which currently costs $ 15.