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 
- TNT is #1 in cable in total day
- TBS is #1 in cable in prime time
- TNT, TBS, truTV combined reached 215 million viewers last year
- CNN has been the #1 network in all of cable since the 2020 Presidential Election in A25-54 and is the #1 news network
- NCAA March Madness ranks #1 on television every night of coverage
- Bleacher Report is the #1 digital sports destination for millennials and Gen Z
- Adult Swim has been #1 in Total Day for the past 16 consecutive years (2005-2020) with young adults.
“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:
- Adult Swim Launches Four New Digital Short Spinoffs Inspired by Rick and Morty, Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell, Robot Chicken and Aqua Teen Hunger Force
- WarnerMedia Kids & Family to Commemorate 20th Anniversary of the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Film with Unscripted Quiz Competition Series and Retrospective Special Celebrating Wizarding World Fans
- HBO Max and Cartoon Network Make Series Commitment for Batman: Caped Crusader
- Adult Swim Orders Series Pick Ups for Royal Crackers and Smiling Friends
- HBO Max and Cartoon Network Take Flight With Series Commitment For My Adventures With Superman
- TBS and TNT Launch Front Row, A Limited Commercial Interruption Programming Destination
- TBS Debuts “Friday Night Vibes™,” Hosted By Actress And Comedian, Tiffany Haddish
- TNets Double Down on Original Programming Slate For 2022 With Second Season Renewals For “Wipeout,” “Fast Foodies” and “Chad”
- It’s a Sizzling Hot Summer for the TNets as TBS, TNT and truTV Announce July Premiere Dates
- AEW Franchise Continues Domination and Expands to TBS in 2022
- Premium Content from CNN Original Series and CNN Films Shines On Theatrical, Streaming, And Television Screens for 2021 and 2022
- Sara Ramirez to Star in Max Original And Just Like That…From Executive Producer Michael Patrick King
- HBO Max Announces Ad-Supported Tier Pricing, Previews New Original Series and Content Premieres and Debuts Advertising Experience at 2021 WarnerMedia Upfront
- Official Trailer & Key Art Released For HBO Max’s FRIENDS: THE REUNION
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:
- FRIENDS: THE REUNION to Premiere Thursday, May 27 on HBO Max
- Adult Swim Greenlights Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Metalocalypse and The Venture Bros. Original Movies
- Turner Sports and National Hockey League Announce Seven-Year Multimedia Rights Agreement Beginning with 2021-22 Season
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).
 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.
 Nielsen Media Research, 12/30/19-12/27/20, Total Day, Average Monthly Reach, Includes Sports. 6 Min Qualifier, L+7 Data Stream
 Nielsen Media Research, 12/30/19-12/27/20, Network ranking stats Exclude Sports, Data Stream: C3, P18-49
 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)
 Nielsen, Total Day M-Su 6a-6a. Wed 11/4/20-4/21/21. Based on most current blend of Live+7 data streams.
 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+.
 Sprinklr: In 2020, B/R generated 2.3B engagements.
 Nielsen Media: Based on Broadcast Years, 2005-2020, Ad-Supported Cable, Total Day M-Su 6a-6a, Live+7, rank based on Delivery