Advanced Television

WBD nears 100m streaming subs

May 9, 2024

Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) has reported results for the quarter ended March 31st. Q1 total revenues were $9.95 billion (€9.27bn). Revenues decreased 7 per cent ex-FX compared to the prior year quarter. Global streaming subscribers were at 99.6 million at the end of Q1, up 2 million on Q4.

David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive Officer of WBD, commented: “We are pleased with our progress in the first quarter as evidenced by strong results in important KPIs. We delivered meaningful growth in our streaming business with a nice acceleration in ad sales, generating nearly $90 million in positive EBITDA for the quarter. We will soon be rolling out Max to 29 countries across Europe, and the content lineup for Max over the coming year is one of our strongest ever. Warner Bros Pictures also had a strong start to the year as the first studio to reach $1 billion in both overseas and global box office, and they have a great slate in the works. Importantly, we once again delivered strong free cash flow, even in our seasonally weakest FCF quarter. We continue to make bold moves to transform our company for the future as we position ourselves to take full advantage of the opportunities ahead.”

Q1 Financial Summary & Operational Highlights:

  • Net loss available to WBD was $(966) million, and includes $1.87 billion of pre-tax acquisition-related amortisation of intangibles, content fair value step-up, and restructuring expenses.
  • Q1 total Adjusted EBITDA was $2.1 billion, a 20 per cent ex-FX decrease compared to the prior year quarter, primarily driven by the success of Hogwarts Legacy in the prior year quarter while Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League generated significantly lower revenues in the current year quarter.
  • Cash provided by operating activities increased to $585 million. Free cash flow increased to $390 million, a $1.3 billion improvement versus the prior year quarter.
  • Repaid $1.1 billion of debt during Q1. Ended the quarter with $3.4 billion of cash on hand, $43.2 billion of gross debt, and 4.1x net leverage.
    • Launched a tender offer today to repurchase outstanding debt.

  • As aforementioned, global DTC subscribers were 99.6 million at the end of Q1, an increase of 2 million subscribers versus Q4. Global DTC ARPU was $7.83, a 4 per cent ex-FX increase versus the prior year quarter. DTC revenues increased modestly to $2.46 billion compared to the prior year quarter, helped by subscriber price increases and higher ad revenue, driven by Max US ad-lite subscriber gains.
  • ID’s breakout series, Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV is the third best series launch-to-date across both Max and HBO Max, behind only The Last of Us and House of the Dragon.
  • Dune: Part Two and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire have grossed over $1.2 billion in global box office. Dune: Part Two is the highest grossing movie of 2024 to date with over $700 million in global box office.
  • Studios revenues decreased 13 per cent ex-FX to $2.82 billion compared to the prior year quarter.

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