Discovery CEO David Zaslav told CNBC on Monday he thinks the new company created out of a merger with AT&T’s WarnerMedia could eventually attract 400 million global streaming video subscribers.

Zaslav, a media executive with decades of experience, said the two are collectively a quarter of the way there already. He was tapped to lead the combined firm.

“We own the full ecosystem,” Zaslav said on “Squawk on the Street.” “Netflix is a great company. Disney is a great company, but we have a portfolio of content that is very diverse and broadly appealing.”

“We think it could be [up to] 400 million homes over the long-term,” added Zaslav — who, prior to Discovery, had a long tenure at NBC where he was instrumental in launching CNBC.

Asked whether such a lofty prediction was a realistic goal, Zaslav said: “There’s billions of people out there that we could reach in the market.”

Here’s a rundown of the streaming landscape:

  • Netflix has nearly 208 million global subscribers, according to its latest quarterly earnings release.
  • Last week, Disney said Disney+ ended the fiscal second quarter with 103.6 million subscribers and doubled down on its plans to reach between 230 million and 260 million subscribers by 2024.
  • Disney also reported that its ESPN+ had 13.8 million subscribers, while its third streaming property Hulu had 41.6 million total subscribers.
  • Out of the more than 200 million Amazon Prime members, the company said in April that over 175 million of them watched content through Prime Video in the past year.

The Discovery/WarnerMedia deal would bring together content properties including HBO, CNN, Turner Sports and the Warner Bros. studio as well as the Discovery Channel, HGTV and Food Network.

WarnerMedia’s flagship digital streaming service, HBO Max, debuted in the U.S. in May 2020. Discovery’s direct-to-consumer streaming service, Discovery+, launched in January.

The merger deal announced Monday represents the latest chapter in the ever-intensifying streaming wars, as media and entertainment companies battle for consumers’ dollars directly in a shift away from traditional pay TV.

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.



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