Warner Bros. Discovery Misses Q1 Expectations, TV Ad Sales Down 11% as Streaming Revenue Flat

Warner Bros

Published Time: 09.05.2024 - 14:31:27 Modified Time: 09.05.2024 - 14:31:27

Warner Bros. Discovery reported its first-quarter 2024 earnings Thursday, revealing it had reached 99.6 million paid streaming subscribers in a tough quarter for studios and networks.

That’s a growth of nearly 2 million subscribers from the 97.7 million subs across HBO and streamers Max and Discovery+ that Warner Bros. Discovery reported for the end of 2023.

Wall Street forecast a loss of earnings per share (EPS) of 24 cents on $10.23 billion in revenue, according to analyst consensus data provided by LSEG, formerly Refinitiv. Warner Bros. Discovery reported $9.96 billion in revenue.

WBD’s net loss for the quarter was $966 million. Free cash flow stood at $390 million.

Streaming revenue was flat with the first quarter of 2023 at $2.5 million.

Studio revenues dropped 13% year over year with video game “Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League” pulling in significantly lower sales than the massive hit “Hogwarts Legacy” in the comparable Q1 2023.

Networks revenue fell 8% at $5.13 million. TV ad sales were down 11% at $1.99 million. Distribution revenue dropped 7%. Content sales were a bright spot, up 8%.

WBD announced Thursday that it would repurchase $1.75 billion of debt. DuringQ1, itrepaid $1.1 billion of debt to end the quarter with $43.2 billion of gross debt.

“We are pleased with our progress in the first quarter as evidenced by strong res -

ults in important KPIs,” CEO David Zaslav said in a letter to shareholders. “We delivered meaningful growth in our streaming business with a nice acceleration in ad sales, generating nearly $90 million in positive EBITDA for the quarter. We will soon be rolling out Max to 29 countries across Europe, and the content lineup for Max over the coming year is one of our strongest ever. Warner Bros. Pictures also had a strong start to the year as the first studio to reach $1 billion in both overseas and global box office, and they have a great slate in the works. Importantly, we once again delivered strong free cash flow, even in our seasonally weakest FCF quarter. We continue to make bold moves to transform our company for the future as we position ourselves to take full advantage of the opportunities ahead.”

Warner Bros. Discovery stock closed Wednesday at $7.89 per share. The regular U.S. stock markets will reopen at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Zaslav and other Warner Bros. Discovery executives will host a conference call at 8:00 a.m. ET to discuss the quarter in greater detail.

More to come…

Most Popular

Must Read

Sign Up for Variety Newsletters

A Variety and iHeartRadio Podcast

More From Our Brands

ad To help keep your account secure, please log-in again. You are no longer onsite at your organization. Please log in. For assistance, contact your corporate administrator.