Geek Culture

CBS And Viacom Reunite In Merger To Combat The Likes Of Netflix, Disney And Amazon

The Star Trek Universe is whole again.

For those not aware, CBS owns the rights to the Star Trek TV series, while Viacom, which operates Paramount, owns the Star Trek movie rights. But like any low and hight point and in some cases, break-ups and getting back together. Such was the case with CBS and Viacom, who just joined hands once more earlier this week.

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The two media titans, now under the unified banner of ViacomCBS, first got together in 1999 by owner Sumner Redstone, but went their separate ways in 2006. This marks their second time coming together, but this time under Sumner Redstone’s daughter Shari, who took over from her father back in 2016.

viacomcbs-redstone
From Left: Sumner Redstone and his daughter, the incoming head of ViacomCBS, Shari Redstone.

“I am really excited to see these two great companies come together so that they can realise the incredible power of their combined assets,” said Ms. Redstone, who will take over the reins of ViacomCBS. “My father once said ‘content is king,’ and never has that been more true than today. We will establish a world-class, multiplatform media organisation that is well-positioned for growth in a rapidly transforming industry.”

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This merger makes ViacomCBS a potential new challenger to the likes of the current entertainment giants such as Disney, Netflix, Amazon and Warner Entertainment in terms of bringing top-tier TV series and other content to consumers.

CBS and Viacom together have some 140,000 episodes of TV series, such as South Park and the upcoming Star Trek: Picard, and 3,600 film titles. ViacomCBS asserted that its combined platforms account for 22% of all television viewing in the U.S., ahead of Comcast (18%) and Disney (14%).

While it remains to be seen if this new merger can equal the might of Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, and challenge Netflix, the battleground is clearly set for a massive three way fight. Make it so.


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