After three years of negotiations, CBS and Viacom are coming together to form a new $30 billion company, controlled by Shari Redstone and cementing her status as possibly the most influential woman in media, NBC News reported.
The merger comes at a time when upheaval in the traditional pay-TV market and the rise of digital streaming services have changed the economics of the entertainment industry and pressured media companies to either grow larger or sell themselves off. With streaming video companies like Netflix now the leading story, CBS and Viacom are fusing their war chests to better compete in the rapidly morphing world of TV and film watching.
But the combined company will still be far smaller that many of the media titans that it will need to compete with.
The newly merged company will house a host of valuable media assets. Under CBS Corporation, the larger of the two companies, are the CBS broadcast network, local TV stations, the premium pay-TV channel Showtime, Network Ten in Australia, 50 percent of the CW Network with WarnerMedia, and the book publisher Simon & Schuster. Viacom owns Paramount Pictures, a variety of cable TV channels including as MTV and Comedy Central, Channel Five TV in the U.K., and Argentina's Telefe TV network.
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Both companies also have their own extensive content production units, which provide shows for outside parties, including the thriller “Jack Ryan,” starring John Krasinski, which Viacom made for Amazon.