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.