Media Release

WarnerMedia Showcases Unified Offerings and Advertising Possibilities at 2021 Virtual Upfront Event

Globally Beloved Franchises, Brands & Shows; Distinct Reach & Scale; and Unparalleled Data and Tech Collation Underscore WMx Event Theme

Company Demonstrates Continued Investment in Linear TV Foundation through New and Returning Series Debuts, Expanded Portfolio of Sports Partnerships and Commitment to the Largest Addressable Advertising Footprint

HBO Max with Ads Price Point and Ad Experiences Revealed, with Debut Content Previewed

NEW YORK (May 19, 2021) – Two years since its last in-person Upfront event, WarnerMedia took center stage this week to present its unified offering to advertisers through a newly expanded portfolio of brands and franchises. WarnerMedia’s theme this upfront – WMx – underpins the company’s foundation as a force multiplier, combining premium content with a deep data insights engine, scaled distribution pipes powering reach and an advanced technology platform delivering precision.

The virtual Upfront event opened with a powerful “We are WarnerMedia” sizzle reel featuring an appearance and voiceover from Issa Rae (Rap Sh*t w.t., Insecure) synced to awe-inspiring content and culture-defining moments spanning the company’s 100-year history of storytelling.

Immediately following, WarnerMedia featured a high-impact, entertaining “oner” performance hosted by Leslie Odom, Jr. (The Many Saints of Newark) with cameos from executives and a star-studded lineup of dynamic talent illustrating WarnerMedia’s best-in-class storytelling, globally beloved intellectual property (IP) and consumer-centric platforms that meet audiences wherever they are. The journey through creative intersections showcased how the company’s celebrated brands have unified to create a powerful, cohesive universe.  

The 70-minute virtual event showcased an array of brand moments and news spanning the breadth of the WarnerMedia portfolio, including TBS, TNT, truTV, CNN, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and HBO Max. Marketers, agencies, members of the press and other industry influencers received a sneak peek into new and returning content, big franchise moments coming soon, advanced advertising news, and more.

WarnerMedia executives Jason Kilar, CEO; Tony Goncalves, EVP and CRO; JP Colaco, Head of Advertising Sales; Katrina Cukaj, Lead of Sales and Client Partnerships and Brett Weitz, General Manager, TBS, TNT and truTV were among the executives who took to the virtual stage to reinforce the company’s value proposition to advertisers, notably:

  • 85 percent of Americans are reached each month through WarnerMedia’s portfolio of iconic entertainment, news and sports brands [1]
  • TNT is #1 in cable in total day[2]
  • TBS is #1 in cable in prime time[3]
  • TNT, TBS, truTV combined reached 215 million viewers last year[4]
  • CNN has been the #1 network in all of cable since the 2020 Presidential Election in A25-54 and is the #1 news network[5]
  • NCAA March Madness ranks #1 on television every night of coverage[6]
  • Bleacher Report is the #1 digital sports destination for millennials and Gen Z[7]
  • Adult Swim has been #1 in Total Day for the past 16 consecutive years (2005-2020) with young adults.[8]

“Today we showcased who we are as WarnerMedia and where we differentiate ourselves in advertising possibilities,” said Colaco. “Our rich history, unparalleled reach, and limitless future is why I came to the company. Where we truly excel is partnering with advertisers to execute epic custom programs and events that galvanize fans, elevating brands to new heights, and most importantly generating outcomes that achieve their business goals.”

“In my twenty-plus years at our company, this moment is unlike any other,” added Cukaj. “From the power and impact of our collective media brands to the superpower strength of new franchise partnerships, our galaxy of consumer reach just got bigger for advertisers. We remain the most trusted partner in the brands we represent, the sales force that aligns with advertisers each day, and through our ongoing commitment to delivering best-in-class advanced advertising solutions, like addressable TV.”

Announcements throughout the event included:


In addition to news announced across each of the brand segments, two key franchise opportunities were presented as tentpole moments for advertising opportunities: DC FanDome, coming October 16 and Believe in Wonder, a celebration of Wonder Woman’s 80th Anniversary, culminating October 21. This franchise-first approach brings Warner Bros. and DC Comics IP to the heart of sponsorship opportunities, providing advertisers with a first-time opportunity to connect with these fervent fan bases. 

WarnerMedia also announced that it is building on the company’s leadership position in addressable TV with DIRECTV, now executing thousands of campaigns per year in all 210 DMAs. By the end of the year, WarnerMedia will power the next generation of addressable TV by broadening its enablement to 52 million households, offering the most scaled national footprint with extensions into digital and over-the top (OTT). WarnerMedia has already begun beta testing with brands across the telecommunications, insurance, and quick service restaurants (QSR) categories.

In addition to the day’s news, there were several content announcements leading into the event, including:


WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands including: HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others. The organization also includes Xandr’s suite of advanced advertising solutions designed to help to improve advertising for brands, publishers, and consumers. WarnerMedia is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T).

[1] Nielsen Total Media Fusion, 12-month rolling average (7/1/19-6/30/20). Based on A18+, Total Day. WarnerMedia TV = ADSM, CNN, HLN, NBA-TV, TBSC, TNT, TOON, TRU, BOOM; WarnerMedia Digital = Each Month's definition of the Parent WarnerMedia Digital (Time Warner/Turner); WarnerMedia VOD = ADSM, CNN, TBS, TNT, TOON, TRU. CNN Airport Network reflected through June 2020. Includes HBO & Warner Brothers Syndication (Linear & Digital) and Otter Media. Live + 7 Days.

[2] Nielsen Media Research, 12/30/19-12/27/20, Total Day, Average Monthly Reach, Includes Sports. 6 Min Qualifier, L+7 Data Stream

[3] Nielsen Media Research, 12/30/19-12/27/20, Network ranking stats Exclude Sports, Data Stream: C3, P18-49

[4] Nielsen Media Research, 12/30/19-12/27/20, 1 Min Qualifier, Live+7 Data Stream. TBS, TNT, TRU Total Day, excludes sports (TNT includes AEW)

[5] Nielsen, Total Day M-Su 6a-6a.  Wed 11/4/20-4/21/21.  Based on most current blend of Live+7 data streams.

[6] Nielsen Media Research thru Star. 2021 NCAA Tournament on TBS/TNT/TRU/CBS. Grossed windows or prime game compared to telecasts during Prime, excludes CBS and WarnerMedia. Prime = M-Sa 8-11P, Su 7-11P except FOX (M-Sa 8-10P, Su 7-10P) and CW (M-F, Su 8-10P). Based on Live+SD stream. P2+.

[7] Sprinklr: In 2020, B/R generated 2.3B engagements.

[8] Nielsen Media: Based on Broadcast Years, 2005-2020, Ad-Supported Cable, Total Day M-Su 6a-6a, Live+7, rank based on Delivery

Media Contacts