Zaslav merged his former company, reality TV programmer Discovery Communications, with the parent of the century-old Warner Bros. studios last year to compete with Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co., the world’s largest entertainment companies. They have more than twice as many streaming customers as Warner Bros., which had 96 million subscribers at the end of 2022.
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While HBO remains the gold standard for producing critically acclaimed TV, Zaslav believes a portion of the country won’t pay for the service because it’s associated with high prices and coastal elites. HBO won the most Emmy Awards of any network last year and has already delivered two hit shows this year in “The Last of Us” and the latest season of “Succession.”
Read more: How HBO is bringing ads to ‘Succession’
A new brand name and a deep library of unscripted programming like “Naked and Afraid” from Warner Bros.’ Discovery Channel could speak to viewers who don’t currently pay for HBO. It could also keep them using the app more, which appeals to advertisers.
The company will launch the service on May 23, with the slogan, “The One to Watch.”