Axios broke a bombshell report on Wednesday that Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish met a day before to discuss the possibility of a merger between the two corporate behemoths.

Such a deal might only be loosely considered a merger as WBD’s market value is said to be around $29 billion, while Paramount’s was just over $10 billion. So the big question might not be whether or not WBD takes over, but whether or not they would buy Paramount Global or its parent company, National Amusements Inc. (NAI). Both options were reportedly on the table, per Axios.

The news wasn’t a real surprise to those who have been paying attention to Paramount’s situation. Along with their valuation dip, their stock price has plummeted and they are burdened by a mountain of debt.

While Variety notes that “conversations are in the earliest of early stages,” it’s never too early to wonder how America’s next mega-merger might shake out. Specifically, how might it impact being a sports fan in the ever-confusing landscape of streaming services, shifting media rights, and exclusivity deals?


According to Axios, “The duo discussed ways their companies could complement one another. For example, each company’s main streaming service — Paramount+ and Max — could merge to better rival Netflix and Disney+.” That seems like a foregone conclusion if the deal were to go through, and it immediately opens up a lot of possibilities for subscribers of both. Both services currently offer live streaming of games and programming, with CBS Sports on Paramount+ and the B/R Sports Add-On and WBD Sports on Max. Both services also have a solid collection of sports docuseries and documentaries in their catalogs and would have the combined abilities to produce even more. An eventual combo could cut down on costs to access all of it, a welcome change of pace for sports fans these days.

Media Rights Madness

All of a sudden, one company would have combined media rights across the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA Tour, UEFA Champions League, college football, and college basketball. That could be great news for sports fans hoping all of that could be combined under one streaming roof. That could also be bad news for the leagues and organizations who just lost one negotiating partner.

March Madness Synergy

If the two companies merged, that would make CBS Sports and WBD Sports siblings. That might lead to some synergistic efforts when it comes to the NCAA Tournament, of which the two entities currently split TV rights. WBD Sports also has digital rights to all NCAA championships across all divisions in all sports except football through 2032 while CBS has a whole lot of college football and college basketball to add to the mix.

Of course, we are in the very, very, very early goings on any potential merger, so it’s still way too early to know if this will happen or if another player will swoop in and snag Paramount away (or split the company for parts with WBD and others). We were already hearing rumblings that Paramount+ and Apple+ were discussing a bundle. There are probably several similar conversations happening around town as well. All we know is that it seems inevitable that these players in the streaming service wars will start contracting eventually. It appears that time is here.

[Axios, Variety]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to