Earlier this week, a judge decided the fate of the AT&T Time Warner deal, and the result was a big thumbs-up in the general direction of capitalism. The $85 billion deal has closed, Time Warner has officially been assimilated into AT&T (and renamed WarnerMedia), and there’s almost zero chance that anything will stop it now.
With the closing of the deal, AT&T is now far more than just a telecoms company. It owns dozens of brands, as well as the rights to some of the most popular shows on TV. It has dozens of cable channels, and if the worst fears about programming disputes play out, AT&T could black those channels out from your pay TV provider during a dispute. In no particular order, here’s some of the big brands AT&T now owns.
Arguably the biggest single name AT&T just acquired. Owns the rights to shows like Westworld, Game of Thrones, Veep, Last Week Tonight, and Silicon Valley. Also has first-run distribution rights (the first people to air a movie after it leaves theaters) with companies like Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Universal, and Dreamworks. It also owns the Cinemax cable channel, which runs feature-length films from some of those distributors.
Cable channel owned by Turner, and it turn (heh) by AT&T. Airs popular shows like Conan, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Friends, Family Guy, New Girl, and 2 Broke Girls.
Another subsidiary of Turner, CNN…well, you all know what CNN is and what it does. Outside of HBO, it’s probably the most recognizable brand that AT&T acquired in this, and certainly its biggest cable channel. Between CNN, TBS, and HBO, AT&T has more than enough content to offer cheap streaming bundles to the masses.
Turner Broadcasting System, as it’s fully known, owns a bunch of cable channels and some websites that flesh out the rest of AT&T’s cable content. Channels include CNN, Boomerang, TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, and Cartoon Network. Through Turner Sports, it also owns websites like Bleacher Report, NBA.com, PGA.com, NCAA.com, and NBA TV.
DC Entertainment is a subdivision of Warner Bros. that deserves its own mention just for the sheer amount of stuff it has under its umbrella. DC Comics, the comic book producer, is under the umbrella, as is DC Films, which makes movies based on those comic characters. Some of the characters it has the rights to include Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Aquaman. Batman is part of the same universe, as a character of Warner Bros.
Warner Bros is one of the “big six” movie studios, and owns some of the most successful movie franchises in history. The Dark Knight Batman trilogy, Harry Potter, Matrix trilogy, Inception, Suicide Squad, and The Hangover all came out of Warner Bros.
New Line Cinema
Warner Bros also owns New Line Cinema, a studio best known for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogy. It also has smaller hits like Rush Hour, Wedding Crashers, and Sex and the City to its name.
The rest of AT&T
That’s just the major brands that AT&T acquired — it also has its own collection of household names that it’s owned forever. AT&T Wireless is the cell carrier everyone loves to hate, U-verse is its cable TV offering, DirecTV is a satellite broadcaster it also owns, as well as dozens of regional cable and phone companies — almost anything with the name “Bell” in it. Bizarrely, the list also includes the Yellow Pages and yellowpages.com.