CBS and Viacom have recently joined forces again to become a contender in the streaming wars, and Bob Bakish, head of the new merger, has said it’s going to be capable of taking on rivals such as Netflix and Disney.
During an interview with CNBC, Bakish spoke about the content library ViacomCBS will have, which features 36,000 films, 140,000 TV episodes and 750 series. He stated that the collection would be ample to fight other media platforms entering the streaming wars.
Bakish made these comments just a day after CBS and Viacom announced their intention of merging, forging the two companies together after 13 years apart. Bakish said: ‘It really has almost unmatched scale on the content side. We clearly have scale in content. There’s no question the companies are clearly stronger together than they are independently.’
When it comes to the financial valuations of CBS and Viacom, though, they have a long way to rival their contenders on the streaming market. CBS is valued at $18.2 billion, while Viacom is set at $11.8 billion. However, Netflix has a market cap valuation of $136.7 billion, and Disney is worth $246.8 billion.
Since the merger has been announced, investors have begun focusing on whether ViacomCBS will be searching for additional deals to increase its edge over the competition. CBS will be gaining Paramount Pictures, cable networks such as Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central, plus South Park Studios and Pluto TV thanks to the merger.
The combined companies may look to take on an additional company such as Starz, Sony or Discovery. Lions Gate, which owns Starz, has spoken with CBS before about transferring the entertainment network to them.
Viacom started out as CBS films, and was renamed Viacom in 1970 before splitting into its own company a year later. In 1999 Viacom acquired the parent company of CBS at the time, and then spun off into the CBS and Viacom companies we know today. Now the two companies have agreed to recombine.
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