NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — Viacom and CBS Corp. have completed their planned merger, reuniting the companies again for the first time since 2005.
The combined company, which is renamed ViacomCBS, creates a content powerhouse with strong footholds in markets across the U.S., Latin America, and Asia.
“This is a historic moment that brings together two iconic companies to form one of the world’s most important content producers and providers,” said Bob Bakish, President and Chief Executive Officer of ViacomCBS. “Through the combination of CBS’s and Viacom’s complementary assets, capabilities and talented teams, ViacomCBS will create and deliver premium content for its own platforms and for others, while providing innovative solutions for advertisers and distributors globally. I am excited about the opportunity we have to serve our audiences, creative and commercial partners, and employees while generating significant long-term value for our shareholders.”
Following the merger, Shari Redstone, daughter of media mogul Sumner Redstone, will become chairman of the company’s combined board.
The content libraries of the merged companies include rights to more than 140,000 television episodes, and 3,600 film titles, along with production capabilities and more than $13 billion in annual content investment.
The newly-combined company’s broadcast and streaming platforms will account for about 22% of TV viewership in the U.S.
Viacom’s brands include BET, Comedy Central, MTV and the movie studio Paramount, while CBS brings to the table the CBS Television Network, CBS News, as well as 15 directly owned CBS television stations. CBS’s portfolio also includes the premium cable network Showtime, as well as the publisher Simon & Schuster.
The merger is the latest in a series of high profile media mergers that included Walt Disney Company’s $52 billion merger with 21st Century Fox, and AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner as traditional media outlets gird themselves to fend off digital streaming rivals such as Netflix, and Apple.
Last month, both Apple and Disney launched their own branded streaming services that provide content for a subscription fee of about $10 a month. Established streaming companies such as Netflix and Amazon already boast subscriber counts of more than 100 million and spend billions annually on original content.