AT&T’s WarnerMedia has approached Comcast’s NBCUniversal to discuss ways of working together, including about licensing films or TV shows for WarnerMedia’s planned new streaming service, according to two people familiar with the discussions.
The approach signals that AT&T wants to strengthen its hand in competing with Walt Disney, Netflix and other rivals. In particular, the telephone company’s WarnerMedia division—the former Time Warner—wants to broaden the program selection for its new streaming service, which is scheduled to launch late next year. Disney, which is due to acquire much of 21st Century Fox early next year, is launching its own streaming service next year as well. The AT&T-Comcast discussions reflect the intensity of change underway in the entertainment industry, as the Disney-Fox merger and the AT&T acquisition of Time Warner has sparked a more aggressive effort among entertainment companies to respond to the rise of video streaming and Netflix.