David Zaslav’s Strategy Shift
Amazon wanted to captivate viewers with its $500 million Lord of the Rings TV series. Warner Bros. Discovery owns HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video's rival.
Warner Bros. controls the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, which were formerly exclusive to HBO Max. The
The roughly $3 billion-grossing trilogy was up for grabs, at least nonexclusively. WarnerMedia previously guarded its films for HBO Max,
but Warner Bros. Discovery is now "open for business," as CEO David Zaslav said. WBD CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels said at a Bank of America event on Sept. 8
that a lot of information has been sitting passively. "The Lord of the Rings is a perfect [example]: It's a nonexclusive window,
and we look at what we're giving up versus what additional money we're generating," the CFO said. "There are nice knock-on effects on our own platforms, too
While WBD gained an undisclosed sum in licencing money, selling a film that had been "sitting idly," Amazon engaged potential TV series