CBS and Viacom have announced a long-awaited merger, to be known as ViacomCBS Inc., in a move that will almost surely affect Network 10 in Australia, and potentially other players.
The combined entity will house a portfolio of consumer brands, including CBS, Showtime, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central and Paramount Network. It also spans 140,000-plus TV episodes and 3,600-plus film titles.
The combined company will also have more than 750 series currently ordered to or in production.
Bob Bakish who is the group’s president and CEO said: “Today marks an important day for CBS and Viacom, as we unite our complementary assets and capabilities and become one of only a few companies with the breadth and depth of content and reach to shape the future of our industry. Our unique ability to produce premium and popular content for global audiences at scale—for our own platforms and for our partners around the world—will enable us to maximize our business for today, while positioning us to lead for years to come. As we look to the future, I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities ahead for the combined company and all of our stakeholders—including consumers, the creative community, commercial partners, employees and, of course, our shareholders.”
Joe Ianniello will serve as chairman and CEO of CBS said: “This merger brings an exciting new set of opportunities to both companies. At CBS, we have outstanding momentum right now—creatively and operationally—and Viacom’s portfolio will help accelerate that progress. I look forward to all we will do together as we build on our ongoing success. And personally, I am pleased to remain focused on CBS’s top priority—continuing our transformation into a global, multiplatform, premium content company.”
Shari Redstone, vice chair of the boards of directors for CBS and Viacom, said: “I am really excited to see these two great companies come together so that they can realize the incredible power of their combined assets. My father once said ‘content is king,’ and never has that been more true than today. Through CBS and Viacom’s shared passion for premium content and innovation, we will establish a world-class, multiplatform media organization that is well-positioned for growth in a rapidly transforming industry. Led by a talented leadership team that is excited by the future, ViacomCBS’s success will be underpinned by a commitment to strong values and a culture that empowers our exceptional people at all levels of the organization.”
CBS TV Studios, under Armando Nunez, and Paramount TV are expected to remain as separate entities. It isn’t clear what the merger means for Network 10, which is but one of the company’s assets, nor Stan’s deal with Showtime which is a long-term deal between parties.