The following are excerpts from CNBC interviews with Julia Boorstin and Jon Fortt and AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan, Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra, Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, and AMD CEO Lisa Su. Video from the interviews on CNBC.com are included below.
AT&T COMMUNICATIONS CEO JOHN DONOVAN
John Donovan on Subsidies:
I do think that when you build a long term relationship with a customer and that relationship is expanding it does give you some degrees of freedom to say, “Look, you know, we’re going to help you with the economics of this or help with economics of that. It’s a TBD and I’m not trying to shy away from the question. I think there is a possibility that you could get back into subsidies of some sort.
John Donovan on Competitors:
Well, the fact that we have beach front property inside their heads makes me smile. But that’s really just not the case. And so for us it was a natural evolution. When we – we announced two years ago at this show actually in 2017 that we were going to do this. So the fact that we did it and then all of a sudden our competitors have decided that they’re upset by it, I think that they are wounded a little by our success last month.
MICRON CEO SANJAY MEHROTRA
Sanjay Mehrotra on Demand:
Smart phone unit demand is trepid but what’s important to understand is that the content within the smart phones, the amount of memory, the amount of flash storage that is needed, actually continues to go up, because of multiple cameras, because of AI driven features in the phones. So yes, near term some challenges. Micron continues to execute well on its plans. And we do expect demand environment to improve in second half of 2019.
Sanjay Mehrotra on Content:
And you know, over the course of the next several years going — from less than 5% of servers being AI-driven servers, going to 50%, by — over the course of the next several years will drive more demand for memory and strange. Similarly for memory and storage — and flash. Same thing in smart phones. When the unit demand may be somewhat challenged, particularly at the high end, the content continues to increase.
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS CEO DAVID ZASLAV
David Zaslav on Discovery Portfolio:
The media business has started to consolidate, but we also consolidated. We acquired Scripps last year for $15 billion, and together with HGTV, Food, and Travel, when you put that together with our Discovery portfolio, we’re the second biggest TV company in the U.S., the only — in terms of reach on any given night in America. And so we feel like we have good scale.
David Zaslav on Owning Content:
We own all of our content globally so we can launch Natural History around the world. We can do it with Apple, we can do it with Google or we can do it ourselves. We launched on January 1st Golf TV outside the U.S. where we have the PGA tour and the European tour and Tiger Woods. And so we’re about passion groups. We’re going to let the other side, with very expensive content, try to be the big aggregator of the everybody’s.
David Zaslav on 5G Advantage:
Now that we have 5G in the home, what can we do with your food talent, with the Food Network, with Cooking, with your short form so that we can own the kitchen together? Well we do that with Amazon. Or when you have 5G, the ability to take HG and all the talent we have around home design and home renovation and create something that’s really meaningful in the home.
David Zaslav on Acquisitions:
One of the great things about the position we’re in now having just absorbed Scripps is that we’re a free cash flow machine. Over the next four years we’ll be generating $9 billion, $10 billion, $11 billion in cash. And so, we’ll have an opportunity opportunistically to get bigger, but one of the things that I think is misunderstood is we are the number two TV company in America. We’re the leading TV company for women in the U.S.
David Zaslav on Passion:
More importantly, the majority of the media business is about scripted content and movies. And so whether it’s what Disney is doing with buying Fox, they’re going to make a great competitor to Netflix, you look at Netflix, you look at Amazon, HBO, they are all on the right side of the media portfolio: scripted movies, scripted series. We are really powering people’s passions. That’s what Discovery is about.
David Zaslav on 5G:
And the big buzz is 5G and who is going to own the home. When you think about 5G, what 5G really does for that side of media business with scripted and movies is speed. So you can download a movie in 3 seconds versus, 15 seconds. What we can do is with Food and Cooking and recipes and all of the talent that we have, we can work with Verizon or AT&T or Apple about owning the kitchen with Food or owning the home with HGTV and DIY.
David Zaslav on Skinny Bundles:
We added our channels to Hulu, and Hulu is growing significantly. One of the reasons is that HGTV, Food, ID and TLC are four of the top five channels for women, and they didn’t have them. And so if these skinny bundles start to grow, if Hulu grows, Direct TV now grows, it’s going to be less channels. We have more carriage on those skinny bundles then anyone else. We will be a beneficiary of that.
VIACOM CEO BOB BAKISH
Bob Bakish on Ecosystem:
For Viacom it’s all about adapting to that ecosystem and creating opportunity, continuing to have the largest portion of our original content and volume in a tradition ecosystem but accessing making sure these flagship brands are represented in other components across it. And that’s what we are focused on.
AMD CEO LISA SU
Lisa Su on Hardware and Semiconductor Markets:
You know you know if I take a step back, I’ll say you know we look at the industry over, you know three four or five year periods. And when you look at that there’s an incredible need for more semiconductor content, whether you’re talking about more devices or you’re talking about more data. And so you need more silicon and you need more high performance silicon. And so for us here at CES we start the year you know, really very optimistic about what we what we can bring to the market. And you know as you said there’s a little bit of turbulence in the market. You know we all see it and understand it. But I don’t think it changes anything about what the long term picture is in terms of you know, the fact that you need more high performance capabilities.
Lisa Su on China:
Yeah, so certainly China is a very important market for our industry. It’s an important market for AMD. You know, there is a little bit of a slowdown. You know, some of what you’ve heard from other companies, you know, we see some of that as well. But again, I look back and say from industry standpoint we you know we see good growth over the market over the next couple of years and it’s really a matter of just working through you know, some of these some of these disturbances right now.
Lisa Su on Gaming:
So, you know, we love gaming. Actually it was a large piece of what we talked about here at CES. You know gamers are really demanding. And you know one of the things that we see is it’s not – it’s really across all platforms. So you talk about PC gaming, you talk about Cloud Gaming, you know you see it on consoles. We were joined by some of our partners on stage today and we all see the same thing. I mean the answer is gaming is increasingly social gaming. Gaming brings people together. And so we believe it’s a strong secular growth market. And you know, in North America as well as in all of the other regions.
Lisa Su on Cloud Partners:
Well the thing about the cloud providers that’s really interesting is they always want more performance. I mean there’s a strong sort of demand for more performance. Now cloud also tends to be a little bit lumpy. And so you know there have been some conversations about, “Hey is there a little bit of lumpiness in the cloud market?” But fundamentally we’re coming from a place where we’re trying to really offer something new and differentiated. You know our next generation products we believe will be best — best in class and you know the cloud is a really, really important market for those those types of products.