AT&T needs Time Warner content to take its brand everywhere: BET founder

AT&T, TWX deal a long time coming: Robert Johnson

To compete in the new media landscape, it's not enough for companies like AT&T to just provide the access to content, they also need to own content, BET founder and ex-Chairman Robert Johnson told CNBC on Wednesday.

In making a case for AT&T's proposed $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, Johnson said in a "Squawk Box" interview, "This transaction has been coming ever since people starting disconnecting from cable."

The only way for AT&T to effectively compete in the mobile video space is to give users not only the means to watch content, via wireless or broadband, but also grab ad dollars with content, Johnson said.

"That's the way the television of the future is going to be, an individual personal asset that people will take with them around the world, as long as they can get what they want," he said. "You want to get the content because … advertising is going [to] follow the customer."

The AT&T-Time Warner deal, which would bring together a wireless, broadband and satellite TV giant with a content powerhouse in movies and television, is expected to face tough regulatory scrutiny.

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