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Abrams spurned Apple for less money with Warner - report

|About: AT&T Inc. (T)|By:, SA News Editor

Producer J.J. Abrams' megadeal with WarnerMedia (T -0.6%) came together even as Apple (AAPL -1.7%) offered the creator far more money, The Hollywood Reporter says.

The deal that Abrams made for his Bad Robot company runs through 2024 and is reportedly worth at least $250M, and maybe up to $500M depending on incentives. It expands on an existing TV deal between Bad Robot and Warner.

But Apple was set to offer a record-setting exclusive deal of $500M-plus, even up to $750M-$1B, according to the report -- an offer Abrams rejected.

One explanation for why: Abrams has a bit of a sweetheart deal with WarnerMedia in that he will be able to work on certain projects outside the company (likely sequels on work he's already made, like Star Wars and Star Trek), and he'll get an ownership stake (maybe as much as 50%) in the WarnerMedia projects.

Apple also lacks a theatrical distribution model, which is a key part of Abrams' estimated $1B future earning power, and ownership of intellectual property that Abrams could adapt in an exclusive arrangement.

Meanwhile, with the outlay that seems to overvalue Abrams a bit, AT&T has made clear that it came to play in the increasingly expensive content wars.

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