Media giants CBS and Viacom announced plans to reunite that will combine the companies into one as ViacomCBS on Tuesday.
The companies split in 2006, but the merger has been long-expected. The combined content library of ViacomCBS will include more than 140,000 TV episodes and 3,600 films with brands that include MTV, Showtime, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, the CW, and of course, CBS.
“Through CBS and Viacom’s shared passion for premium content and innovation, we will establish a world-class, multi-platform media organization that is well-positioned for growth in a rapidly transforming industry,” Shari Redstone, the vice-chair of the boards of directors for CBS and Viacom, said in the release. “Led by a talented leadership team that is excited by the future, ViacomCBS’s success will be underpinned by a commitment to strong values and a culture that empowers our exceptional people at all levels of the organization.”
In the press release, the companies note that the merger will allow them to “accelerate direct-to-consumer strategy.” The press release states, “in addition to content licensing, CBS and Viacom are developing must-watch programming for a broad range of third-party networks and platforms to feed significant demand for original, premium content.”
Subscription offerings currently include CBS All Access and Showtime, and streaming offerings include PlutoTV. The streaming service offers 100 channels and thousands of movies and TV shows, and unlike its competitors like Netflix, Hulu, or Sling TV, it’s completely free.
The merger joins other large-scale media mergers, like AT&T buying Time Warner and Disney’s acquisition of Fox. Many critics say that these mergers are a way of preparing for a future where streaming services take reign over cable.
If ViacomCBS put its energy toward streaming, that means your favorite shows like Shameless (Showtime), NCIS (CBS), Broad City (Comedy Central), Dexter (Showtime), Riverdale (The CW), Supernatural (The CW), South Park (Comedy Central), and more could be removed from Netflix and Hulu and only available on the ViacomCBS streaming platform.
Still, ViacomCBS would have to keep up with not only Hulu and Netflix, but Amazon Prime and Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, that launches this fall.
Digital Trends reached out to ViacomCBS to comment on the merger and how the company plans to extend its streaming services, but we have yet to receive a response.