CBS and Viacom have finally pulled the trigger on a merger deal that had long been on the cards, combining forces to gain a stronger foothold on the evolving market.
The merger – when completed – will finally reunite Sumner Redstone’s media empire after its division back in 2006, and will create an entertainment powerhouse worth around $30 billion.
On top of this, it will bring brands such as Nickelodeon, Paramount TV, MTV, Comedy Central, CBS Network, and Showtime all under one roof. The aim is seemingly to create a ‘super-corp’ with the might to rival other media behemoths Walt Disney Company, Comcast, AT&T, and Netflix.
The merger would create a unified TV property with one of the highest viewership shares, amounting to 15 per cent according to combined numbers from Nielsen, Kagan, S&P Global Market Intelligence, and Wall Street Journal reports.
Animation Magazine reports that Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone, currently vice chair of both companies, will become chair of the new entity, ViacomCBS.
The new company will be led by Viacom’s chief executive officer Bob Bakish. Joseph Ianniello, acting chief executive officer, CBS, will be named chairman and will oversee CBS assets after the move.
“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,” said Bakish.
“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 maximise our business for today, while positioning us to lead for years to come.”