CBS and Viacom Just Merged in Latest Hollywood Megadeal
Thirteen years after they were split into two companies, CBS and Viacom are back together again.
Shari Redstone, vice chair of both companies, will serve as chair of the combined entity, which will be called ViacomCBS Inc.
The new company will have a library of 3,600 film titles and 140,000 TV episodes. It will also have a a 22 percent share of the U.S. television audience, larger than Comcast, Disney, Fox Corporation, Discovery or WarnerMedia, according to THR.
“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 [Sumner Redstone] once said ‘content is king,’ and never has that been more true than today,” said Shari Redstone.
The transaction is expected to close at the end of 2019, pending regulatory and shareholder approvals.
Viacom assets include Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and BET, with CBS bringing Showtime and streaming service CBS All Access to the table.
CBS Films, which just brought us “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” is being folded into CBS Entertainment Group as the company’s priorities shift to streaming.
The CBS-Viacom deal agreement comes after Walt Disney’s $71.3 billion buyout of 21st Century Fox and AT&T’s $85 billion takeover of Time Warner. CBS has also reportedly offered Lionsgate $5 billion for its premium cable channel Starz.
Earlier this year, Viacom acquired Pluto TV to enhance its streaming business.
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