Remember earlier this month when Warner Bros. said that it had saved money on the strikes? Well, it seems like that may have been more than a little presumptuous. Today, Warner Bros. filed a document with the Securities and Exchanges commission that said it would be losing more money than expected in quarter three because of the ongoing strikes.
Warner Bros. filed an updated Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) with the SEC (which you can read here) that says the company will lose nearly half a billion because of the ongoing work stoppage. “The Company is expecting lower adjusted EBITDA for the full year in the range of $10.5 to $11 billion, reflecting the Company’s assumption that adjusted EBITDA will be negatively impacted by approximately $300 to $500 million, predominantly due to the impact of the strikes.” This adjustment comes in part from the fact that the strikes will extend past WB’s initial estimated resolution timeframe.
While an estimated $400 million loss is a stunning number, it’s important to remember that this is a fraction of what it would cost to agree to both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA’s patterns of demands. The WGA released data early in the strike that stated the total cost of resolving the writers’ strike fairly would cost just under $350 million. The cost to Warner Bros. was estimated around $47 million—less than 1% of its $43 billion yearly income.
David Zaslav, the Warner Bros. CEO who has been very involved in the AMPTP negotiations and has made headlines multiple times for the preternatural ability to say the exact worst possible thing at any given moment, “will be participating at an investor conference on September 6, 2023 and expects to discuss, among other topics, the impacts of the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.” We’ll be tuning in to see what he has to say.
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