AT&T Completes Merger With Cartoon Network’s Ultimate Parent Company Time Warner

AT&T Completes Merger With Cartoon Network's Ultimate Parent Company Time Warner

AT&T Completes Acquisition Of Cartoon Network’s Ultimate Parent Company Time Warner

Late last night (14th June), AT&T (name originated from American Telephone & Telegraph Company) has completed its merger with Cartoon Network’s ultimate parent company (via Turner) – Time Warner. Under the terms of the merger, AT&T issued 1.185 million shares of common stock and paid $42.5 billion in cash, Time Warner shareholders received 1.437 shares of AT&T common stock, in addition to $53.75 in cash for each Time Warner share. The proposed merger was announced in October 2016, but the merger wasn’t approved until Tuesday this week (12th June) after it was given the greenlight by U.S. senior judge – Richard J. Leon.

AT&T can trace its history all the way back to the Bell Telephone Company, a company founded by the inventor of the telephone, Scottish-Canadian Alexander Graham Bell in 1875, the company grew to become one of the largest landline, mobile telephone and broadband internet service companies in the United States. AT&T has a complex history, with mergers, demergers and remergers, even AT&T spinoff SBC took over original AT&T and re-branded their whole company as AT&T. AT&T has merged with Time Warner because of its television and movie content, they purchased the largest satellite television provider in the United States – DirecTV in 2015 and they wanted a large content division to run alongside its pay-TV and mobile and landline telecommunication divisions. With access to its own movie and TV studios and media library, AT&T can give its own customers free content or at a reduced rate, which is an incentive strategy to retain and gain more customers.

The merger can be seen as an necessity for Time Warner to ensure its survival against cord-cutting (people who unsubscribe from cable and opt for streaming services) which is one of the biggest threats in the media industry, AT&T now has an advantage as it offers the infrastructure (mostly within the United States and some internet backbones worldwide) for people to use these streaming services and even owns a few of these streaming services (including DirecTV Now) and content of its own of which it can bundle with broadband and mobile packages.

With the merger, AT&T now owns one of the largest media companies in the world which includes Warner Bros. (Movies, TV Shows and Animation), Turner (U.S. and international cable television broadcaster and production company, known for its live-action, animated and news programming) and also HBO (Home Box Office), known for producing some of the highest quality entertainment on television. Turner and AT&T have some things in common, for example, digital streaming services, Turner has the classic movie streaming service – FilmStruck and also the classic cartoon streaming service – Boomerang (co-owned with Warner Bros.), meanwhile AT&T owns 50% Otter Media who run Japanese anime streaming service – Crunchyroll and the multiple entertainment brand streaming service platform – VRV.

At present, there won’t be any changes at Time Warner (including Cartoon Network’s Turner) except that Time Warner CEO – Jeff Bewkes will be stepping down, with John Stankey now in-charge of what was Time Warner. Jeff Bewkes will continue to serve as a senior business advisor at AT&T for at least the time being. AT&T and Time Warner are two very different businesses, this can be seen as a vertical merger, unlike the proposed horizontal merger with rivals – Disney and 21st Century Fox.

AT&T is yet to give a new name to its new media division, but Time Warner’s Twitter account suggests that its called “Warner Media Group”.

https://twitter.com/WarnerMediaGrp

From The AT&T Press Release: AT&T Completes Acquisition of Time Warner Inc

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has completed its acquisition of Time Warner Inc., bringing together global media and entertainment leaders Warner Bros., HBO and Turner with AT&T’s leadership in technology and its video, mobile and broadband customer relationships.

“The content and creative talent at Warner Bros., HBO and Turner are first-rate. Combine all that with AT&T’s strengths in direct-to-consumer distribution, and we offer customers a differentiated, high-quality, mobile-first entertainment experience,” said Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc. “We’re going to bring a fresh approach to how the media and entertainment industry works for consumers, content creators, distributors and advertisers.”

Stephenson said the future of media entertainment is rapidly converging around three elements required to transform how video is distributed, paid for, consumed and created. Today, AT&T brings together:

Premium Content: Broadly distributed, robust premium content portfolio that combines leading movies and shows from Warner Bros., HBO and Turner, along with more targeted digital content from Bleacher Report, FilmStruck and AT&T’s investment in Otter Media, among others.

Direct to Consumer Distribution (D2C): AT&T has more than 170 million D2C relationships across its TV, video streaming, mobile and broadband services in the U.S., mobile in Mexico, TV in Latin America, in addition to D2C digital properties such as HBO NOW, Boomerang, FilmStruck and CNN.com.

High-Speed Networks: AT&T‘s leading wireless and fiber network, including investments in new technology such as 5G, will provide the network bandwidth required as customers increase engagement with premium video and emerging 4K and virtual reality content.

Company Structure, Executive Leadership

AT&T Inc. consists of four businesses. This structure allows each business to operate independently and move quickly, while at the same time innovating across AT&T with content, connectivity and advertising. The four business are:

AT&T Communications provides mobile, broadband, video and other communications services to U.S.-based consumers and nearly 3.5 million companies – from the smallest business to nearly all the Fortune 1000 – with highly secure, smart solutions. Revenues from these services totaled more than $150 billion in 2017.

AT&T’s media business consists of HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. Together, these businesses had revenues of more than $31 billion in 2017. A new name for this business will be announced later.
AT&T International provides mobile services in Mexico to consumers and businesses, plus pay-TV service across 11 countries in South America and the Caribbean. It had revenues of more than $8 billion in 2017.

AT&T’s advertising and analytics business provides marketers with advanced advertising solutions using valuable customer insights from AT&T’s TV, mobile and broadband services, combined with extensive ad inventory from Turner and AT&T’s pay-TV services. A name for this company will be announced in the future.

Jeff Bewkes, former chairman and CEO of Time Warner Inc., has agreed to remain with the company as a senior advisor during a transition period. “Jeff is an outstanding leader and one of the most accomplished CEOs around. He and his team have built a global leader in media and entertainment. And I greatly appreciate his continued counsel,” Stephenson said.

As previously announced, leading the four businesses and reporting to Stephenson will be:

John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications;
John Stankey, CEO of AT&T’s media business;
Lori Lee, CEO of AT&T International and Global Marketing Officer of AT&T Inc.; and,
Brian Lesser, CEO of AT&T’s ad and analytics business.

All of Jeff Bewkes’ direct reports will now report to John Stankey.

Acquisition Financial Details

Under the terms of the merger, Time Warner Inc. shareholders received 1.437 shares of AT&T common stock, in addition to $53.75 in cash, per share of Time Warner Inc. As a result, AT&T issued 1,185M shares of common stock and paid $42.5B in cash. Including net debt from Time Warner, we now have $180.4B in net debt.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a diversified, global leader in telecommunications, media and entertainment, and technology. It consists of four businesses. AT&T’s media business, with its HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. divisions, is a world leader in creating premium content, operates one of the largest TV and film studio, and owns a vast library of entertainment. AT&T Communications has relationships with more than 100 million U.S. consumers across TV, mobile and broadband services. Plus, it serves nearly 3.5 million business customers with high-speed, highly secure connectivity and smart solutions. AT&T International provides pay-TV services across 11 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, and is the fastest growing wireless provider in Mexico, serving consumers and businesses. AT&T ad and analytics provides marketers with innovative, targeted, data-driven advertising solutions around premium video content.

http://about.att.com/story/att_completes_acquisition_of_time_warner_inc.html

Cartoon Network Africa Launches Creative Lab To Seek New Talent And Produce New Content

Cartoon Network Africa Launches Creative Lab To Seek New Talent And Produce New Content

Cartoon Network Africa Launches Creative Lab To Seek New Talent And Produce New Content

Cartoon Network Africa has launched a new initiative called “Creative Lab”. With the new initiative, Cartoon Network Africa aims to create local short-form animated content especially for people living in Africa. In order to create the new content, Cartoon Network Africa is seeking new talent on the continent. The initiative is specifically looking for creators, writers, graphic artists and animation students to help produce the new projects. Prospective content producers can apply now up until 31st August, the initiative is open to African residents above the age of 18 or any Africa-based company.

Applicants are expected to submit a one-to-three minute short comedy project that will fit in well among Cartoon Network’s other programming. In September, Cartoon Network Africa will pick ten shortlisted projects and give each creator the opportunity to pitch in-front of CN’s team. The winner and two runners-up will be revealed at the DISCOP media convention in Johannesburg which will be held between 14th-16th November and will be given the chance to turn their project into a pilot which will premiere sometime in 2019.

Cartoon Network Africa’s Creative Lab is effectively the adult-targeted version of Cartoon Network’s Imagination Studios initiative. For Imagination Studios, children from all over Africa submitted their character drawings for the chance to see their characters made into a short episode.

The Head of Programming and Acquisition for Turner Kids Africa – Ariane Suveg, mentioned that there has been some really good and inspiring animation projects, including Punch Monkey Studios’ Cloud Life and wish to help support the African animation industry with the use of the new Creative Lab initiative.

“As sponsors of the DISCOP 2016 Animation Pitching Programme, we were exposed to some really inspiring local animation projects, We were so impressed by Cape Town-based Punch Monkey Studio’s amazing creative energy in the winning entry, Cloud Life, that the project has been traveling through the Turner group and is now in a development process with the Turner Asia Pacific production team! This just reinforces our need to invest in local content and our commitment to further mentoring talent in the African animation industry. We are honoured to be supporting local African animation talent through the Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab. We look forward to seeing the entries and hope to see the winners flourish in their career as content creators, following the footsteps of some of Cartoon Network’s greatest talents.”

For more information about Cartoon Network Creative Lab and how to submit your project, please follow the link below:

http://www.cartoonnetworkhq.com/creativelab

http://kidscreen.com/2018/06/08/cartoon-network-launches-africa-creative-lab/

https://www.screenafrica.com/2018/06/08/technology/animation-graphics/cartoon-network-is-looking-for-new-animation-talent-in-africa/

Turner Asia-Pacific Announces New Cartoon Network Entertainment Park Coming Soon To Bali, Indonesia

Turner Asia-Pacific Announces New Cartoon Network Entertainment Park Coming Soon To Bali, Indonesia

Turner Asia-Pacific Announces New Cartoon Network Entertainment Park Coming Soon To Bali, Indonesia

Today (6th June), Turner Asia-Pacific has announced that they’ve announced a licensing partnership with Indonesian real-estate and hospitality investment company – The MAJ Group to build a 4.3 hectare entertainment park in Bali, Indonesia. The family-friendly entertainment park development will feature the island’s largest water park and an indoor entertainment centre – all complete with Cartoon Network branding and themed with many of its animated IPs. The announcement was made at IAAPA’s (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) Asia Attractions Expo 2018 in Hong Kong.

The park is set to launch in 2020, the development will include water rides and surf and wave pools. The construction project will be a integral section of The MAJ Nusa Dua complex, a premiere destination for tourists featuring world-class hotels and an award-winning golf course. The Cartoon Network Entertainment Park will be Indonesia’s first ever park associated with an international brand, it will also be Cartoon Network’s first ever combined indoor and outdoor attraction. In addition to the water park and the entertainment centre, there will also be live performances featuring well known characters from many of Cartoon Network’s shows including – Ben 10, We Bare Bears, The Powerpuff Girls and Adventure Time.

Other Cartoon Network-branded projects licensed by Turner include the Cartoon Network Amazone water park in Thailand, IMG Worlds of Adventures and IMG Worlds of Legends in Dubai, Amaazia in India and the Cartoon Network Wave cruise liner.

From The Turner Asia-Pacific Press Release: Turner & The Maj Group To Open Cartoon Network Entertainment Park In Bali: Indonesia’s first ever internationally-branded park set for 2020 unveil

Turner Asia Pacific has announced a licensing partnership with Indonesian real-estate and hospitality investment company, The MAJ Group, to develop a 4.3-hectare entertainment park in Bali. The family destination will feature the island’s largest waterpark and an indoor entertainment centre – all splashed with Cartoon Network theming and unique sense of fun.

Slated to be fully operational in 2020, the development will include thrilling water rides, and massive surf and wave pools. The integrated project will be a key part of The MAJ Nusa Dua complex, a premier tourist destination in southern Bali featuring world-class hotels and an award-winning golf course.

Ricky Ow, President of Turner Asia Pacific, said: “Turner and The MAJ Group share the same vision of creating the ultimate family destination in Indonesia, and the entertainment park will combine world-class design with unparalleled Balinese hospitality. Above all, it will offer guests genuine fun powered by Cartoon Network, Asia’s leading kids entertainment brand.”

Gita Wirjawan, Chairman of The MAJ Group, added: “We are proud to be Turner’s partner of choice in bringing the Cartoon Network experience to Bali and game-changing the entertainment industry landscape in Indonesia. The new park will enhance the development of The MAJ Nusa Dua complex which will offer a full-suite of leading hospitality and entertainment choices for the whole family. Furthermore, it will further cement Bali as the premier family destination in Asia and one of the world’s top tourist locations.”

This will be Indonesia’s first ever park to partner with an international brand, and it will be Cartoon Network’s first with both indoor and outdoor attractions. The whole environment will be brought to life by live entertainment and performances featuring characters from shows such as Ben 10, We Bare Bears, The Powerpuff Girls and Adventure Time.

The announcement was made today (June 6) at IAAPA’s Asian Attractions Expo 2018 in Hong Kong. Other Cartoon Network-branded projects licensed by Turner International include Cartoon Network Amazone in Thailand, IMG Worlds of Adventures in Dubai, Amaazia in India and Cartoon Network Wave cruise liner in Asia Pacific.

About The MAJ Group and The MAJ Nusa Dua

The MAJ Group is the real-estate and hospitality investment platform of Ancora Group, a diversified investment group based in Jakarta, Indonesia. It owns and operates various hospitality destinations in Indonesia, including The MAJ Nusa Dua tourism complex in Bali which includes multiple world-class luxury resorts and an award-winning golf course, Bali National Golf Club (2018 Golf Digest Editors’ Choice Award for Best International Resorts – Indonesia).

http://www.turner.com/pressroom/turner-maj-group-open%C2%A0cartoon-network-entertainment-park-bali