- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
With deals chatter once again swirling around the entertainment industry, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish on Thursday spent part of the company’s second-quarter earnings conference call addressing his team’s appetite for acquisitions or other tie-ups.
“We continue to be extremely excited about the momentum and go-forward potential of our organic strategy,” leveraging the assets of Viacom and CBS and pushing into streaming, he said. “The merger of Viacom and CBS was a transformative transaction, and we continue to successfully create value from it.”
He concluded: “We believe organic execution continues to be the right path,” but added that “of course, we will always evaluate any opportunities through a shareholder value creation lens.”
Bakish also discussed the conglomerate’s film release strategy, saying his team likes the “fast follow from theatrical” model for films, meaning putting them on streaming platforms 45 days after the theatrical release, as “the sweet spot of the model, because it provides a theatrical opportunity for consumers, lets us benefit from that market and then quickly moves product to streaming, in this case Paramount+, to drive subscribers there.”
So far, Paramount has followed that strategy with A Quiet Place Part II. But he said the company is looking at release strategies on a “title by title” basis as the coronavirus pandemic continues. For Paw Patrol 2, for example, it chose a day-and-date release. “For that audience, i.e. families with young children, right now in the middle of COVID … we wanted to provide both choices for consumers, because that, we think, gets it to the largest potential consumer base.”
Since the May news of the Discovery-WarnerMedia merger, Wall Street observers have wondered if such media giants as ViacomCBS may look to boost their scale via deals. One suggestion has been that the company could merge with Comcast/NBCUniversal.
Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts recently dismissed the idea of major acquisitions, but seemed open to global partnerships, particularly as it relates to streaming. Many experts have argued that Comcast and ViacomCBS could team up in international markets to boost the scale and content offerings of their streaming services.
On Tuesday, Discovery CEO David Zaslav said that the combination of Discovery and WarnerMedia would be one of the three global streaming players, along with Netflix and Walt Disney. Other “sub-scale” content companies would in the coming years likely look for deals, he argued. “There will be a lot of consolidation,” Zaslav said. “And some of that may be opportunities for us, but right now, I really like where we are.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
Regal Entertainment Group
radio city music hall