During an interview with Neil Cavuto on the FOX Business Network, Discovery Communications CEO, David Zaslav weighed in on the AT&T-Time Warner merger, and why he believes that although consolidation typically poses challenges, “it also presents opportunities.”
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“The fact that AT&T wants to buy Time Warner reflects the fact that content is very, very important. For us, we own all of our content; we own it on all platforms and around the world. And, in markets where companies that are in the distribution and pipe business, whether it be mobile companies, or cable companies, they’re all coming together, and the investment is really substantial,” Zaslav said.
The merger has come under scrutiny by President Trump, and whether the deal will be blocked is yet to be determined.
However, Zaslav believes that a “light governmental touch everywhere is positive” for the media industry, and the reason behind the uptick in media stocks can be attributed to the “sense that a lot of the mergers can go through, where maybe before there was more of a question.”
In the long run, consolidation indicates that “content is still king” and regulation will always create challenges and uncertainty, said Zaslav.
When it comes to President Trump, Zaslav said although it’s still early, “some of his business policies could really be helpful to America.”
“I believe in divided government, and I think that the idea of having a Republican Congress, a Republican Senate, a Republican President is a good thing because now they’re going to get some things done.”
Zaslav’s contract at Discovery Communications extends through 2019, coinciding with Disney CEO, Bob Iger’s contract extension which ends in July of 2019 – something Zaslav says was simply “coincidental,” after Cavuto suggested whether there might be some sort of connection.
“Discovery is my home,” said Zaslav.