CBS and Viacom, two major media houses in the US, have decided to merge in a bid to strengthen their position to take on Netflix.
The deal will see the two companies reunite after a hiatus of more than a decade to create a new company worth about $30bn, the Guardian reported.
The coming together of the two companies will see Viacom’s MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and the Paramount film and TV studio with CBS’s broadcast network and its Showtime subscription channel.
The deal marks a victory for Shari Redstone – the daughter of media mogul Sumner Redstone, who split up CBS and Viacom in 2006.
The Guardian reported that Redstone had pushed for the merger for some years, and is expected to be named as the new company’s chairwoman of the board, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Shari Redstone, the president of National Amusements, the Redstone family holding company that controls CBS and Viacom, said: “I am really excited to see these two great companies come together so that they can realize the incredible power of their combined assets. My father once said ‘content is king’ – and never has that been more true than today.”
Viacom and CBS have struggled since their split, riven by family squabbles and scandal.
Former CBS chief executive Les Moonves was among the prominent entertainment executives to see his career derailed amid #MeToo sexual misconduct allegations.
Compared to Disney, which recently bought Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox assets and is soon to launch a streaming service, Disney+, and Netflix, with 151 million global subscribers, CBSViacom will still be a relatively small player.