CBS to merge with Viacom in $11.7 billion deal

David Matthews

TS Maniac
Staff member

Viacom has announced that it is merging with CBS in a $11.7 billion deal. The combined company will be called ViacomCBS and reunites the companies after they split up in 2005.

According to the official press release, the current CEO of Viacom, Bob Bakish, will become the new President and CEO of the combined entity. Acting CBS CEO Joe Ianniello will report to Bakish until at least 2021.

“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,” Bakish said in a press release. “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 the streaming wars heat up, this merger is yet another instance of big corporations combining their efforts in order to compete with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Disney. Last year, AT&T bought Time Warner in an effort to shore up its own premium content in addition to its DirecTV service. In fact, the company is launching another streaming service called AT&T TV later this year.

The combined content of CBS and Viacom will make it formidable in the streaming market. CBS already has its own CBS All Access streaming service while Viacom owns Pluto TV. Meanwhile, the other popular channels at ViacomCBS's disposal include Nickelodeon, BET (which is getting its own streaming service), Comedy Central, and MTV. On top of all of that, CBS will also take control of Paramount Pictures.

According to Bloomberg, CBS had been mulling over its next steps following the ousting of former CEO Leslie Moonves over sexual misconduct allegations. There were previous attempts to merge the two companies but to no avail. In addition to the Moonves ordeal, CBS also faced mounting competition on the streaming side from big players like Netflix.

With many of the major content holders releasing their own streaming services, it's not hard to imagine a future where traditional cable subscriptions go away completely and replaced with multiple streaming subscriptions.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
NEVER thought I would see the day when CBS merged with anyone .... so much for independence of course we should have seen it coming with putting a woman in charge of the news division only to have her put in O'Donald as the senior anchor ...... another dad day for the American Press ......
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
NEVER thought I would see the day when CBS merged with anyone .... so much for independence of course we should have seen it coming with putting a woman in charge of the news division only to have her put in O'Donald as the senior anchor ...... another dad day for the American Press ......
It’s not really a merger... Viacom was CBS and split from them less than 15 years ago... now they were just put back together.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
Speaking as a cord-cutter who cut the cord because of having to pay so much for a large variety of channels that I never watched, I will never subscribe to all these services jumping on the streaming fad bandwagon.

Honestly, I have to wonder what goes on in the boardrooms of these companies. The most likely scenario that I imagine is that they all come to some variation of the following conclusion:

"Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are making a ton of money on streaming. We have to get in on streaming and make a ton of money, too. Streaming, that's the thing in this day and age, and if we do not follow suit, we will be left behind. There's plenty of money to go around, and people will gladly pay $XX/mo for our content."

The one single thing I do not think that any of the conversations in the boardrooms cover is why people cut the cord in the first place. For me, and I imagine others, too, it was cost and value for that cost. It made no sense to me to continue paying the $85/mo fee I was paying for Dish's top-tier package. It also made no sense for me to drop even to Dish's lowest end package. I regularly watched about five channels and some of those were available for free, OTA. For me, cutting the cord made sense.

Now, I have OTA with DVR capabilities through MediaPortal, Netflix HD, Hulu base package, and a show my wife watches from I-Tunes for $0.99 per weekly episode. Total cost, about 1/4 what I was paying for Dish's package, and I still have so much material that I can never possibly watch it all.

I get that some material will disappear from Netflix and, perhaps, Hulu. Honestly, I will likely never miss it. Any material that goes exclusively to these streaming services will almost certainly be released on physical media and if I want to watch it, I will borrow it from my local library.

It will be interesting to see how successful these services become. I can imagine that many value-conscious cord cutters will not buy into these services. I almost would not be surprised if some of them fail and then end up re-licensing their material to Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu.

As I see it, all these services popping up like flies on :poop: is getting ridiculous.