CBS and Viacom to Reunite in Victory for Shari Redstone

The merger was viewed as necessary at a time when audiences for traditional television have eroded, as it helps the new ViacomCBS push further into streaming.

Comments: 31

  1. Even farther back, Viacom was originally spun off from CBS, with the thought that they would fail. CBS no longer wanted to handle the syndication of shows and the putative loser of cable TV (who knew!), and wanted to get rid of what they thought was a money sink. Viacom had the last laugh when it was acquired by Redstone in a hostile takeover. What goes around, comes around.

  2. @BA Actually, the spin-off of Viacom from Paley's CBS was mandated by law. The government wanted the networks producing fewer of their own shows. Viacom is a trainwreck, but the guy running it gets the keys. It makes no sense.

  3. This consolidation has been long overdue. Now that CBS has a streaming platform, just about all of the pieces are together. The only weak part of the company is Paramount, who has struggled to put out box office hits over the past decade. As of August 1, Paramount ranks 6th of all studios in revenue for 2019, one spot ahead of 20th Century Fox (owned by Disney). But they only have 5% market share, compared to Sony (11%), Warner (12.5%), Universal (13.4%), and the clear market leader, Buena Vista/Disney (37.6%). Perhaps another merger or acquisition will take place soon to strengthen the CBS/Viacom position in theatrical films.

  4. Somehow a picture of a line of elephants with tattered trappings, marching slowly, while they enter a half empty circus tent comes to mind.

  5. Next I want her to take over Fox and close it down. New motto: No fair, no balanced, no Hannity.

  6. As always, consumers and the truth will always be the losers in media consolidations.

  7. Shari is for real and some of the fringe players in the industry had better acknowledge it before the fringe is trimmed.

  8. I used to watch CBS news, but no longer.... Seems like over 60% of your "news" broadcasts are dedicated to advertising. Big Pharma dominates. But many others as well … repetitive, annoying, loud, background of music.... Thank goodness we have mute buttons and access to internet when we want full news coverage.

  9. @Senior Citizen Side effects may include but not limited to: Nausea, Back Pain, Perspiration, Fainting Spells, Depression, Anxiety and Fear of Cats ..

  10. The “news” is merely the filler between commercials. Actually, it’s the same for all TV that uses the “advertisements pay for the show” business model.

  11. Instead of buying other companies, she should hire the people pushed out of HBO by AT&T to do show development for Showtime. Then spend some coin to boost CBS Sports Channel to a viable competitor to ESPN. Then take one of the lesser channels with clearance on all systems and put the 24 hour streaming News network CBSN on equal footing with CNN and MSNBC. That would be a good start.

  12. In 20 years, TV/Cable/Internet will so expensive it will actually be cheaper to go to a movie theater for visual news and entertainment. Just like they used to do in the 1040's...

  13. YAY! Maybe Star Trek will be fixed now! No more Kelvin Timeline / JJ Abrams insult to canon... we can pretend none of that ever happened! Star Trek Discovery what? Oh, there's other stuff CBS and Viacom do? In all seriousness though, this is great news for Star Trek.. the IP will no longer be split between two companies!

  14. Haven't watched "Network TV" in years. If I wanted to (what would be worth the horrific commercials? - maybe 60 Minutes) I would use an antenna. When I visit someone who has a TV on and the commercials start, I want to hurl. They are an insult to the ears and and the brain. And completely avoidable. And I am not about to sign up for CBS streaming for a couple of OK shows. Good luck. I don't see the long term business model unless they get really amazing content like HBO. JMO.

  15. Nobody has mentioned the potential that the combined entity will add to the financial strength of CBS Sports, which is appointment television. Without CBS Sports, CBS Network may not be profitable regardless of its market leading television series, which are routinely recorded for consumption without commercials. Netflix and Amazon have already won the television series battle, since they are commercial free. CBS should focus on creation (versus acquisition), which is its strength. It instead invest in acquiring sports properties, which it has historically excelled under Sean McManus and his heir apparent David Berson.

  16. Sumner Redstone...daughter...reminds me of the show "Succession", which is a little lame.

  17. @Roger Lunde I thought the same thing - watching a version of "Succession" in real life. Weird.

  18. And the biggest losers in this ... the average consumer, who's rates keep getting jacked up, as the cable companies go unregulated. It's outrageous what they feel is fair to charge these days. These mega mergers only benefit the power brokers involved in the deal. Plutocracy continues to reign.

  19. @Fromjersey While I understand your concerns, this isn’t about cable, it’s about streaming. Only about 30% of young adults watch TV primarily through a traditional cable/satellite subscription. My personal opinion is that cable/satellite is unlikely to exist in its current form 15 years from now. This is really about whether anyone can compete with Netflix, Amazon, Google/YouTube, and Disney/Hulu/ESPN. Maybe HBO/Warner or Comcast/NBC is in that group but I’m not convinced that either fully appreciates how rapidly the market is evolving. A streaming service that can’t offer a broad range of content faces a very uphill battle against more established competitors. I actually think this merger increases the chances of having another major competitor in the streaming market.

  20. The key going forward is having a strong catalog to support a streaming service. The combined company is still going to have an uphill battle against Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and Disney but it does own some strong shows. It’s Star Trek series will generate subscribers. Not sure what streaming rights CBS has to its sports broadcasts but that could help distinguish it from Netflix. It can also package in news, including local news so that could help. Despite all the discussion of “prestige” tv, the most streamed shows on Netflix and Hulu are sitcoms like Friends, The Office, and Community. Unfortunately, I don’t think CBS actually owns its top comedies but it does have a good catalog of procedurals. Realistically, CBS probably does need to make another acquisition to better position itself. A reply to a couple of comments. This isn’t about cable tv or even linear tv. My kids in their twenties NEVER watch linear tv other than sports. This is about whether anyone can compete with the FAANGs going forward.

  21. @JW I think that HULU would make a great acquisition and add to their streaming market share.

  22. @John O'Brien Hulu is now owned (or at least mostly owned) by Disney. They’re going to package it with Disney+ and ESPN+, although ESPN+ is mostly lower profile games and doesn’t include the main ESPN feed at this point. The general strategy of a kids/family segment, a general entertainment segment, and a sports segment is something that I think CBS is now better positioned to implement.

  23. Just what the country needs. Another corporate consolidation under the billionaire Rothstein family.

  24. Since Trump will like being able to tell Redstone to neuter CB news, his lapdog FTC and DOJ will not oppose the deal or investigate the combined entity.

  25. Hmm. Another heiress takes over solely via inheritance. Such progress. Betsy, Ivanka and Shari—woo hoo — women are really breaking the glass ceiling. Can’t help but wonder what really working women brainpower without inheritances could do for this country.

  26. Was that the synopsis of "Succession" season 2, episode 2?

  27. No tax paid of course, have to remember the corporations wrote the tax code for their puppet gov.

  28. @mons There is no tax payable as no shares sold, and no tax event triggered. Not sure what is wrong with that or illogical here.

  29. I like it because a woman beat out the old boys.

  30. This is the reality of media; the 'Pac-man' effect; behemoth companies merge to compete with one another and gobble up the smaller ones in the process. The same thing happened with the Oil & Gas industry. Through these mergers competition is limited, lobbyists have more power and influence over the elected officials at all levels of gov't and the tax loopholes are abused. 10:40A CST 8/14/19

  31. It's a sad sign of how far we've devolved as a society when we cheer because Shari Redstone booted out the likes of Les Moonves and "won" back her empire. Both are the 'evil we know' - and we can't assume she didn't manipulate and bully women to keep her throne.