After months of negotiations, CBS merges with Viacom. The two companies are meeting for the first time since their split in 2005. The agreement will expand CBS's content offering to its customers – a growing importance as wars continue.
According to a press release, the company will be renamed ViacomCBS. Bob Bakish, the current CEO of Viacom, will become CEO of both companies as part of the merger. It will take months for the deal to be completed, Joe Ianniello, acting CEO of CBS, to report to Bakish in 2021, according to Bloomberg The merger was unanimously approved by both boards. The move means that the company has a value of about $ 30 billion, according to at The Wall Street Journal.
"Today, CBS and Viacom are living an important day, as we unite our strengths and complementary capabilities to become one of the few companies to have as much content as possible and able to shape." the future of our sector, "Bakish said in a press. release "Our unique ability to produce quality and popular content for a large-scale global audience – for our own platforms and for our partners around the world – will allow us to maximize our business for today, while positioning ourselves to become a leader for years to come. "
The merger has been under discussion for some time now, but the departure of Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS for many years series of allegations of sexual misconduct and the appointment of Shari Redstone as the majority shareholder CBS and Viacom made it difficult. A legal agreement reached last year tied Redstone to specific conditions: at least two-thirds of CBS's directors had to support the merger for the transaction to be approved. according to Variety.
Investors generally believe that the decision to combine their business reflects the fact that traditional media companies, such as CBS, are trying to expand their content offering by merging with other companies, such as Viacom. This will allow CBS to compete with companies such as WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal, alongside Amazon, Apple, Disney and Netflix as entertainment company pivots on streaming services.
CBS already has a streaming service, CBS All Access, but Viacom's content catalog adds to all of the company's offerings. ViacomCBS now has a number of mega-identifiable brands, including Showtime, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central and Paramount Network, in addition to CBS. Together, ViacomCBS will be able to offer a library of more than 140,000 television episodes and more than 3,600 films. CBS will also acquire Paramount Pictures as part of the merger. Having access to a number of major franchises, including the Transformers series, can help CBS develop its CBS All Access movie offering to compete with Disney and Netflix.
At the same time, Viacom has its own streaming service, Pluto TV, and is preparing to launch a stand-alone BET service featuring exclusive content from filmmaker Tyler Perry. It is unclear how these solutions will fit into CBS 'global streaming strategy in the years to come. CBS could integrate Viacom's most important network offerings, including Nickelodeon, into CBS All Access to enrich its core streaming service and attract more subscribers.
The company will hold a teleconference later today to announce more details about the future of ViacomCBS. We will update the story if necessary.