Well now, it appears the deck has been shuffled yet again in the ongoing streaming wars, and it looks as though CBS may be shaping up to be a stronger contender than we’d previously anticipated.
CBS and Viacom announced on Tuesday a merger of their two companies under a new name, ViacomCBS, in a deal that valued the company at more than $28 billion, according to a press release. The merger, which will reunite two companies that initially split back in 2005, will bring their respective media and content offerings under one massive umbrella. And that, of course, includes both ad-supported and subscription streaming services, including CBS All Access, Showtime, Pluto TV, and the kids-focused Noggin, among others.
In addition to the various streaming properties owned by both companies that will now be housed under a single roof, it will also consolidate brands that include Nickelodeon, CBS, MTV, BET, Comedy Central, the CW, and Paramount Network—which of course also folds a major entertainment studio into this cornucopia of content offerings.
Per the press release, this unified haul of content—some of which ranked among rival streaming giants Netflix and Hulu’s top-watched shows, such as South Park, NCIS, and Criminal Minds—also includes more than 3,600 films and a combined 140,000 series episodes. In addition, under the new company, ViacomCBS will lay claim to “more than 750 series currently ordered to or in production.”
It would be ridiculous to call this merger a full-on Netflix killer—depending on your preferred content fix, any number of those may be on their way—though it could potentially be playing in the same weight class as Hulu, depending on how it packages this new trove of entertainment. (And barring the incredible $12.99 bundle with Disney+ and ESPN, of course.)
At the very least, we all have yet another option in a sea of services that expands by the day.