Brian Roberts (Comcast) and Shari Redstone (ViacomCBS)
Comcast and ViacomCBS leaders are reportedly considering a potential new international streaming partnership. Comcast’s CEO, Brian Roberts, ViacomCBS’ Bob Bakish and Shari Redstone discussed the streaming expansion following successful streaming launches, rising streaming demand in select territories.
If solidified, the deal would allow the companies to perform a set of mergers and acquisitions, including that of Roku. The conglomerate initially introduced the idea through Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh in late May, deriving as a result of the company's current diverse portfolio. The move was also inspired by AT&T’s decision to merge its Warnermedia division with Discovery, though ViacomCBS and Comcast doesn’t have any M&A plans for the near future.
ViacomCBS has said that Paramount Plus will be in 45 markets by 2022. But like Comcast, it's far away from achieving the kind of massive global user scale enjoyed by Netflix and Disney, and it will probably need help from another company to get there. The company said in May that it had 35.9 million customers for its subscription streaming services, a grouping that includes Showtime in addition to Paramount Plus.
The potential merger was targeted with lots of negative feedback, including an accusation of the companies’ intention to potentially violate antitrust regulatory activity by the federal government. The projections, however, are unlikely as the conglomerate plans to establish the partnership in regions outside of the US.