CBS, Viacom strike merger deal
op media companies CBS and Viacom have agreed to merge, setting the stage for a combined entertainment company with more than $28 billion in revenue.
In a statement on Tuesday, the firms announced the combined company – ViacomCBS Inc – will control an extensive library of content as well as a portfolio that includes CBS, Showtime, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central and Paramount Network.
“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,” Bob Bakish, the current president and CEO of Viacom who is set to become the president and CEO of the combined company, said in a statement.
Both companies are controlled by National Amusements Inc, which is owned by the family of media mogul Shari Redstone. Redstone is currently the vice chairman of the CBS and Viacom boards of directors.
“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,” Redstone said in a statement.
The big picture: The merger will help both Viacom and CBS compete with rivals such as Netflix, WarnerMedia, Comcast and AT&T. CBS and Viacom split up in 2006 but the new combination comes amid business pressure from streaming companies and other media mega-mergers.