Years on, CBS and Viacom today announced that they have successfully negotiated an agreement to combine through a merger of shares, creating a company with more than $ 28 billion in revenue. The deal brings the two media companies together after splitting in January 2006. The merger also reunites the two sides of the Star Trek franchise, with CBS owning the brand and TV rights and the library with Viacom's Paramount Pictures which has had the Trek movie rights and movie library.
Say hi to ViacomCBS where "content is king"
The new entity called ViacomCBS, Inc. is designated in the announcement as a "leading global, multi-platform premium content company, with its assets, capabilities and scale to be a of the most important content producers and providers in the world. "ViacomCBS will include the largest television business in the United States, with the highest proportion of broadcasting and cable viewing" across all demographic key audiences. " a variety of compelling content for important and diverse audiences across both traditional and emerging platforms across the world. ”
The recently merged ViacomCBS will have Viacom CEO Robert Bakish in the top as CEO. Former CEO of CBS Corp. Joseph Ianniello will be Chairman and CEO in CBS, where he will oversee all assets marked by CBS in the new company.
The merger was initially initiated by Shari Redstone, Vice Chairman of the Boards, CBS and Viacom. In a statement, Redstone says: "I'm really excited to see these two big companies come together so they can realize the incredible power of their overall assets. My father once said 'content is king' and it has never been more true than today. Through CBS and Viacom's shared passion for premium content and innovation, we will establish a world-class multinational media organization that is well-positioned for growth in a rapidly transforming industry. Led by a talented leadership team excited for the future, ViacomCBS's success will be underpinned by a commitment to strong values and a culture that empowers our exceptional people at all levels of the organization. ”
Star Trek cited as part of the strategic rationale
As we previously reported, StarTrek has come back under one roof cited as an important factor for the merger. Star Trek was even mentioned in the official press release from ViacomCBS as one of the strategic reasons for the merger:
First class content in scope. The combined company will have a portfolio of powerful consumer brands including CBS, Showtime, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central and Paramount Network, as well as one of the largest iconic intellectual property libraries spanning each key genre and addressing to consumers of all ages and demographics. This library contains 140,000+ TV episodes and 3600 movie titles, and reunites fan-favorite franchises such as Star Trek and Mission: Impossible . The combined company will also have more than 750 series currently ordered for or in production. In addition, it will include a major Hollywood movie studio, Paramount Pictures, which creates and distributes entertainment worldwide. The combined company will also be one of the largest content users, with more than $ 13 billion spent over the last 12 months.
In the short term, any deal can mean little to Star Trek. CBS continues to develop and produce a variety of TV shows from Star Trek. Similarly, Paramount has two scripts in the wings, with the Tarantino project seemingly gaining some traction. Once the merger has gone through the approval process and business structures are merged, there may be significant changes to the franchise in the medium to long term for Star Trek.
CBS – which is the acquisition entity for the merger – is apparently taking Star Trek seriously with their continued expansion of the television franchise. The company has announced a number of additional Star Trek series for CBS All Access, and a children's animation series on Nickelodeon – which of course is part of Viacom. All of this activity has been put under a unit already with the recent CBS announcement by the Star Trek Global Franchise Group, led by Alex Kurtzman. Exact details on how Star Trek will be handled in the future are not expected today. However, the merger will probably mean that Kurtzman's group will take over the development of Star Trek feature films.
The merger may also involve changes to CBS All Access, which is currently Star Trek's primary home on television in the United States. The merger statement from ViacomCBS promises a three-part plan for growth, with the first part to "accelerate strategy directly to the consumer."
The merger will be subject to the usual regulatory approvals, but ViacomCBS expects the deal to be completed by the end of 2019.
Continue to check out TrekMovie for updates on the plans for Star Trek in the recently merged company.