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WBD: Max, HBO Lost 600,000 Q4 Domestic Subs; Added 2.3 Million International Subs

WBD: Max, HBO Lost 600,000 Q4 Domestic Subs; Added 2.3 Million International Subs

Warner Bros. Discovery Feb. 23 reported a fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2023) loss of 600,000 domestic direct-to-consumer subscribers to end the year with 52 million — down from 54.6 million subs at the end of 2022.

The DTC business segment, which includes global Max, HBO and Discovery+, ended 2023 with 97.7 million total subscribers, which included the addition of 1.3 million subscribers from the acquisition of Blu TV and TNT Sports Chile. The segment ended 2022 with 96.9 million overall subs.

Revenue increased 3% to more than $2.52 billion from revenue of $2.45 billion in the previous-year period. Advertising revenue increased 51% to $186 million from $123 million a year ago.

Content revenue dropped 30% to $171 million from $243 million, primarily driven by the timing of third-party licensing agreements.

The DTC segment posted its first fiscal-year operating profit of $103 million from a fiscal loss of almost $1.6 billion in fiscal 2022.

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Content highlights in the quarter included the latest season of “True Detective,” starring Jodie Foster, which generated a series record of 12.5 million average viewers, according to David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery.

“We fought hard to get Max to be profitable last year,” he said on the fiscal call. “We are now committed to driving profitable top line growth. And while it’s still early innings, we feel good about the trajectory we were on and are on track to achieve our guidance of $1 billion in pre-tax earnings in 2025.”

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