×

WarnerMedia Denies Report That AT&T Is Considering Sale of HBO Europe

WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey has denied a news report that says parent company AT&T is considering a sale of HBO Europe to help pay down debt.

A story by the Financial Times on Wednesday said that internal discussions of such a sale had been held within AT&T but that no formal talks with potential buyers had been initiated. The report said AT&T was eager to keep the discussions quiet in order to prevent any more HBO employees from jumping ship, given the departures of longtime HBO boss Richard Plepler and president and chief revenue officer Simon Sutton.

But Stankey called the report “completely baseless and inaccurate.”

“We normally do not comment on speculation, but when a news outlet is advised that their reporting is factually incorrect and report it anyway, we feel compelled to set the record straight,” he said in a statement. “There is no truth whatsoever to the Financial Times’ story saying AT&T is or has considered selling HBO Europe. It’s completely baseless and inaccurate. HBO Europe is a valuable asset for our growth plans in Europe.”

The Financial Times said AT&T had declined a request for comment on its story. The report said that an AT&T executive close to Stankey and CEO Randall Stephenson had denied talk of a sale of HBO Europe, but that “several current and former senior executives” had confirmed the discussions. Selling off HBO’s venerable European operations would go toward easing AT&T’s $170 billion debt load, the report said.

HBO Europe operates across in more than a dozen countries across the continent. In addition to distributing its U.S.-made shows and some from other networks, it has moved into producing local content for its European services.

It has also moved into streaming, with platforms such as HBO España in Spain, which offers HBO shows such as “Game of Thrones” as well as content from Disney and Nickelodeon. The company says it has about 10 millions subscribers in Spain, Sweden, Denmark and Poland.

More Biz

  • Bert Salke and Jennifer Salke

    Feds Looked Into Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke in College Admissions Scandal

    Federal investigators looked into Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke and her husband, Fox 21 Television Studios president Bert Salke, as they conducted a sprawling probe of cheating in elite college admissions, a source close to the case told Variety. It does not appear, however, that prosecutors will charge the Salkes in the case. The Salkes [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Big Blackout Looms as CBS, AT&T Go Down to Wire on Renewal Talks

    A blackout affecting CBS stations in major markets throughout the country looms as CBS and AT&T executives go down to the wire on negotiations for a retransmission consent deal covering 28 O&O stations. The sides have sparred publicly during the past few days as 11 p.m. PT Friday expiration of the previous contract approached. AT&T [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    ICM Responds to WGA Packaging Lawsuit: Claims are 'Baseless' and 'Absurd'

    ICM Partners has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against four major talent agencies by the Writers Guild of America as part of the larger war between agencies and the guild over packaging fees on TV series and movies. The guild sued ICM, CAA, WME and UTA in California state court in April, [...]

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

  • Live Nation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

    Live Nation Confirms Placing Tickets Directly on Secondary Market at Artists’ Request

    Representatives for Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster, confirmed that it bypassed conventional channels and directly placed thousands of concert tickets on the secondary market upon artists’ request, in an article published in Billboard. In a statement shared with Variety, the company acknowledged that it has facilitated the transfer of [...]

  • Costume designer Michele Clapton

    Costume Designers Fashion a Plan to Fight for Pay Parity in Upcoming Contract Talks

    The Costume Designers Guild Local 892 is gearing up to fight for pay equity in its 2021 contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, establishing a pay-equity committee to raise awareness of the scale disparity between the mostly female CDG membership and the mostly male membership of the Art Directors Guild Local [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content