Game of Streams – ViacomCBS

Viacom and CBS Corp. are officially joining forces after 14 years since their split. Viacom and CBS first merged in 1999 and split in 2005. Since the two merged, ViacomCBS is now a massive media empire with a collection of cable channels, broadcast networks, and film and publishing divisions. The company celebrated its partnership with a ceremonial ringing of the opening bell at the Nasdaq Market Site in New York’s Times Square. The company’s Nasdaq ticker symbol is VIAC.

The two companies bring a lot of content to each other. Viacom has the right to BET, Comedy Central, MTV, and Paramount movie studios. CBS properties include the CBS Television Network, CBS News and 15 CBS-owned TV stations, as well as the cable network Showtime and the publisher Simon & Schuster. ViacomCBS is valued at an estimate of $30 billion when the merger was announced in August. The company has a lot of competition. Between recent streaming platforms like AppleTV, Disney+ and Netflix, there is a lot of pressure to not only come with good content but how will ViacomCBS make streaming distinct for them.




According to CBSNews, Both CBS Corp. and Viacom have long been controlled by Sumner Redstone and his daughter, Shari through their family’s privately owned company, National Amusements. This company operates in movie theaters in the U.S., U.K. and Latin America. Shari Redstone is the president of National Amusements and has served as vice-chairwoman of CBS and Viacom before their merger. Shari has recently become chair of the combined ViacomCBS board.

The two companies have a history of trying to merge; they have tried several times in recent years but their management teams could never see eye to eye. Last year, CBS’s board went through a lot go change following the departure of longtime CEO Leslie Moonves over misconduct allegations. This helped make room for the merger. Hopefully, Viacom’s content can help create a bigger name within the streaming platform. It will be interesting to see what content they will make specifically for their platform.


What’s Coming to Netflix in December?

Every month, Netflix adds new content to their media streaming platform. Netflix has had a great year and is still considered to be the number one video streaming app; which may not last for long given that AppleTV and Disney+ released this year. The company recently released the list of tv shows and movies releasing on the platform for December.

One of the highlights that Netflix is releasing is The Witcher series. This show is based on a video game series named The Witcher as well. The show stars Henry Cavill and is set in a magical world with a variety of creatures. In the show, he’ll team up with a powerful sorceress and young princess to battle inter-dimensional monsters. Netflix will release all eight episodes on December 20th. Based on the first impressions of critics, it sounds very action-packed and entertaining!

Also coming to Netflix is Two Popes starring Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce. Lost in Space and You will return over Christmas break as well. If you are interested in viewing the full list that details the shows and movies coming to the platform you can look at the list here.

Netflix acquires Nickelodeon deal to compete with Disney+

As the war for streams starts to become more crowded, Netflix decides to change the game with a production deal, valued at 200$ Million dollars, with Nickelodeon. According to the New York Times, Netflix announced its partnership with Nickelodeon a day after the release of Disney+; a very strategic move to stir conversation and try to shift focus. Children’s media has always been a huge market for media companies, and now that Disney has their own streaming service, the ante is raised to a new level.

Disney owns the rights to the content that millions of children, young and old, grew up loving and watching. Many consider Disneyworld to be the place where dreams come true and often referred to in moments of celebration. How can a streaming service compete with that? Netflix responded with a network that is just as important in the lives of young children; Nickelodeon. Its genius because they can now produce shows with characters like Spongebob Squarepants, Danny Phantom, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jimmy Neutron and Timmy Turner, etc. which is huge for many people because these some of these shows still air today and there is still the sentimental aspect of these shows that lives within multiple generations. Since these shows aired in the late ’90s to early 2000s, the ages that can connect to these shows will vary between children, teens, and young adults. According to the article, Brian Robbins, Nickelodeon’s president said, “Nickelodeon’s next step forward is to keep expanding beyond linear platforms, and our broader content partnership with Netflix is a key path toward that goal”.

It’s interesting that Viacom, the company that owns Nickelodeon, decided not to create their own streaming service. They certainly have enough shows given that they also own MTV and BET. However, this is a good choice because it allows Nickelodeon to test the waters, so to speak and Netflix is already an established streaming service, which is less work for them as opposed to starting a new streaming platform in the midst of a bunch of other streaming services releasing. Netflix will continue to create and produce original animated feature films and television series based on Nickelodeon’s mass library of characters, with the opportunity to create new characters. I am excited to see the adventures that Spongebob and Timmy Turner will go on now that they have a new company writing their stories.

Apple TV+ Movie “The Bankers”

A few days ago Apple released their trailer for their new movie entitled, “The Banker”. The movie is based on the story of two African American businessmen, Bernard Garrett and Joe Morris, and follows their aspirations of starting a banking empire. Unfortunately, due to societal setbacks, the pair had to employ a working-class white man named Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult) to pose as the face of their operation. Mackie and Jackson teach Steiner how to socialize with other rich white men and create deals they can’t due to their skin color. According to HYPEBEAST, The Banker will serve as Apple TV+’s first original film and Oscar contender. Many Marvel fans are excited to see Anthony Mackie (Falcon) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) as the leads in this movie. As a fan of both actors and a fan of the story, I hope that this film is historically accurate and not merely based on the outline of the story; two black men buy a bank. I say all of this because recently another black biopic was released, Tubman, which was very loosely based on the story of Harriet Tubman. The only thing that was true in the movie was that there was a woman named Harriet Tubman… most of the characters on the screen and the conversations depicted were fabricated. This angered me because Harriet Tubman was an amazing woman who lived an extraordinary life. The movie that came out about her did more of an injustice to its audience by not framing the story around the truth. Given the problems with race that we have today. and have always had, it is important to see the world and its history for what it truly is. For those excited to see the Banker, make sure you check it out when it releases in theaters on December 6 and will release on Apple TV+ in January.

HBO’s “House of the Dragon” Officially Announced

Good news came to Game of Thrones fans yesterday as HBO announced that they will officially be making a series following the Targaryen Family. According to Business Insider, the shows co-creators are George R.R. Martin, the author of “A Song of Ice and Fire” and Ryan Condal. Condal will also serve as showrunner of “House of the Dragon” alongside Miguel Sapochnik — the famed “Game of Thrones” director who gave us the iconic episodes, “Hardhome,” “Battle of the Bastards,” and “The Winds of Winter”. As a fan who came toward the end of the series, I am excited to see where HBO will take the Targaryen story. The House of the Dragon news broke out the same day many media sources were reporting that HBO scrapped their original GOT prequel following the Stark family. I think it is wise that they changed their perspective on the story because now that many fans know that John Snow isn’t a Stark, more fans are interested in following the Targaryen storyline. Who doesn’t want to see more dragons and mythical battles?

’Stranger Things’ have helped Netflix stay on top

As the competition for streaming platforms continues to grow, Netflix is having to defend its popularity amount audiences. According to the New York Times, Netflix loss 126,000 domestic subscribers earlier this year. However, Netflix was able to get those subscribers back according to the article. Author Edmund Lee explained, ”The third-quarter results benefited from Netflix’s best-known series, ’Stranger Things, ’ which introduced its hugely anticipated third season over the Fourth of July weekend. The series drew 64 million households in the first four weeks it was available, the company said.”

This was a big comeback for the company and not only helped them draw in more viewers but helped line Netflix’s pockets. Netflix’s stock jumped more than 8% in after-hours trading last week. In addition, the company also reported a large jump in profit from $665 million to $5.2 billion in revenue. This rise in profit follows the addition of 6.8 million new customers this quarter, with 520,000 of them in the United States. Netflix has big plans and big movies to help them beat the soon-to-come streaming platform competitors, Disney and Apple. Both of which plan to release their streaming platforms in November. As of now, Netflix is the nation’s largest digital television network, with over 158 million customers around the world, including 60 million in the United States.

Sony’s PlayStation 5 set to release Holidays 2020

Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan announced the release details of the next-generation console, the Playstation 5, in a blog posted on Sony’s page. This is a huge deal for video gamers because many wondered what the system would be called and are happy to hear that they can get their hands on it during the holiday season of 2020. The blog post talked about some improvements made to the Playstation system. Wired journalist, Peter Rubin, shared the information he learned from Sony’s CEO regarding the vision for the Playstation 5.

Sony plans to make loading times within games shorter to nonexistent. Rubin spoke with the chief studio Officer for EA, Laura Miele, for more insight as to how video game companies are transitioning to new consoles. Miele stated that “We’re stepping into the generation of immediacy. In mobile games, we expect a game to download in moments and to be just a few taps from jumping right in. Now we’re able to tackle that in a big way.” This is a good improvement. Shortening loading screens help keep the gamer in the game longer and more smoothly.

The Playstation 5 will allow players to transition instantly between games, apps and social platforms. Sony’s system architect Mark Cerny explained to Rubin that, “Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real-time. Single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them—and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player, you just jump right into whatever you like.” Making the Playstation more interactive is exciting to think about.

The DualShock 5, Playstation 5’s new controller is designed for making gameplay more interactive and immersive. Rubin explained that the controller has “‘adaptive triggers’ that can offer varying levels of resistance to make shooting a bow and arrow feel like the real thing—the tension increasing as you pull the arrow back—or make a machine gun feel far different from a shotgun. It also boasts haptic feedback far more capable than the rumble motor console gamers are used to, with highly programmable voice-coil actuators located in the left and right grips of the controller.” With all of this new technology, it is no doubt that the Playstation 5 will pick up where the Playstation 4 left off and change the way we play video games on its console.

Spidey is Back in the MCU

On Friday, two media giants reached a peace deal that pleased fans around the world. Representatives from Sony and Disney reached a deal that allowed Spiderman, played by Tom Holland, to appear in a few more Marvel Universe movies. This is important to many fans because the Marvel Avengers movies have been doing great in box offices around the world. These movies are creating history by telling these comic stories with popular actors with great budgets. According to Forbes, Disney will put up 25% of the budget for the third Spider-Man movie in exchange for 25% of the profits received from the movie. Kevin Feige will join the team as a producer (alongside Sony’s Amy Pascal) for the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far from Home, a film which will be part of the MCU. The last Spiderman movie came out earlier this year entitled, Spiderman: Far From Home, has made $1.13 billion so far in 2019. This is a huge return on investment, given that the film was made on a $160 million budget. Considering that Spiderman has only really been actively involved in 2 Avengers movies, I think that it was a good idea for these companies to reach a deal. We have seen Spiderman/Marvel movies from Sony and they did a great job for the time; creating movies like X -Men (Hugh Jackmen, Halle Berry) and Spiderman 1-3 (Tobey Maguire). However, now that Disney has created a cinematic universe, revitalizing Marvel’s comic content into movies, the fans are ready to see the scope of all their favorite characters on the big screen. Hopefully, as more movies are made and as they continue to break records in the box office, the companies will realize that their partnership is not only what’s best for the fans, and the franchise but it is what’s best for their pockets.


Sony’s State of Play excites Gamers

Yesterday was a big day for video gamers as Sony held their State of Play press conference. State of Play is a video program that showcases all the latest updates, announcements and new trailers from PlayStation. State of Play allows fans and video game critics to watch the stream live on the official PlayStation Twitch, YouTube or Facebook channels. Many people were excited about yesterdays conference because Sony has been teasing an announcement regarding one of their biggest games, The Last of Us II. They teased this announcement by simply putting up promos for the State of Play conference with items that resembled weapons from the first, Last of Us, game. Fans were ecstatic to see a more in-depth trailer showcasing scenes from the story and were even more excited to see that the game is set to release in February of next year. Even though this seems a little far away, Sony has built up a lot of hype with their compelling and action-packed trailers. Other announcements during the conference was a PS4 Pro bundle deal including another big game title for the Playstation platform, Death Stranding. Death Stranding is starring actors Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen with writing and directing from Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima, a video game legend. Other announcements included a new trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and trailers for new games like Humanity and Wattam. Last but not least, Sony is remaking Medievil and Civilization 6 for the PlayStation platform. Hopefully this ‘end of the year’ press-push will get fans excited to participate in the video game world that Sony is creating for the near future.

Nike’s Political Commercial wins Emmy

Nike’s “Dream Crazy” commercial wins an Emmy for “Outstanding Commercial” at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards Ceremony.  This is the first time since 2002 that a Nike commercial has won this award. There is much debate regarding Colin Kaepernick’s relationship with Nike. Many people fully support their collaborations because Kaepernick has become a symbol of justice and equal rights. While others, like President Trump, view him as an overdramatic, sub-par athlete. When this commercial came out the mixed reactions showed in Nike’s stock. According to CNBC, Nike’s stock closed the day after the ad’s release after dropping roughly 3.2%. Despite the drop in the stock market, Nike’s online sales saw a major spike. According to Edison Trends, a digital-commerce researcher, Nike product orders rose 27 percent a few days after the ad’s release. Many contribute this spike to the fact that many customers want to support a brand that speaks on political and social issues. Nike does just that and has made this image a key piece of their brand. They recently announced a pro-hijab campaign with dri-fit hijabs to wear while exercising. They have also been known to toss ideas if they are racially triggering. Nike has successfully branded themselves as trend setters and social innovators. Hopefully, Nike will continue this going forward as they continue to receive support from people of many different backgrounds across the world.

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