Dec 04, 2019

By Bob Bakish
"We have a rare and exciting opportunity to drive the future of our industry."

Thanks to the hard work of many, I’m thrilled to share that the merger of Viacom and CBS has closed, and ViacomCBS is now in business.

This is a historic moment, and it comes at exactly the right time. Demand has never been higher for content that engages, delights and informs. And that’s exactly what we deliver.

ViacomCBS brings together powerful consumer brands that have shaped media and entertainment since the dawn of the broadcast era. With this combination, we:

• Reunite CBS – America’s Most Watched Network – and Paramount Pictures, Hollywood’s longest-running film studio;

• Create a leading suite of pay-TV properties, including Showtime – a premium brand pushing the boundaries of storytelling – and iconic cable channels such as Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and BET;

• Expand a sizeable international operating footprint driven by top broadcast networks, including Telefe in Argentina, Channel 5 in the U.K., Network 10 in Australia and Colors in India;

• Leverage a major force in consumer publishing in Simon & Schuster, along with growing businesses in live events, consumer products, recreation and other experiences; and

• Boast one of the most innovative digital and streaming portfolios in the marketplace, with premier subscription based and ad-supported products including CBS All Access and Pluto TV.

You’d be hard pressed to find a more diverse and compelling mix of assets – and this is just one piece of the company’s full portfolio.

What truly unites our brands and businesses is a shared passion for storytelling. You see it in our unmatched legacy of hit programming, from SpongeBob to 60 Minutes, Star Trek to South Park. We introduced audiences to Bobby Axelrod and Forrest Gump, Lucy Ricardo, Walter Cronkite and Dora the Explorer. We aired the very first Superbowl and pioneered the highest standards of broadcast journalism.

Now, we have a rare and exciting opportunity to drive the future of our industry as one of the largest and most influential content creators in the world.

But that’s not all. Commercially, ViacomCBS will be the most important partner in the media ecosystem. The company will deliver the largest share of the U.S. television audience and hold number-one positions in every demographic we serve, including total viewers 2+, kids, Adults 18-49 and 25-54, African Americans and Latinx viewers. This reach will extend across every viewing platform and price point, making us a cornerstone offering for distributors. Combine that with our leadership in advanced advertising and marketing solutions, and ViacomCBS will be the go-to choice for advertisers and agencies.

When it comes to production, we’ll be a global powerhouse, making premium content at scale for our own brands and third parties in every genre through our own best-in-class studios, including Paramount Television, CBS Television Studios and Awesomeness, among others. Plus, under the combined company, we’ll now own one of the largest and most valuable libraries of entertainment out there – an extensive collection of iconic franchises with over 140,000 TV episodes and 3,600 film titles.

Beyond these strengths, we’ll leverage a massive global operating footprint that connects with more than 4.3 billion subscribers across 45 languages in nearly every country in the world. This competitive advantage will allow us to further extend our brands and IP well beyond the screen and even further into experiential offerings.

In every respect, ViacomCBS will be better positioned to serve consumers, partners and shareholders. Looking at our complementary assets and capabilities, I truly believe this is a great fit. I also know we would have never achieved this milestone without the incredible dedication, focus and hard work of the people that drive our organizations forward. Thanks to our employees at CBS and Viacom and the amazing things they do every day, we are stronger now, more resilient and more prepared than ever.

To realize all the opportunities ahead – and overcome the challenges we will no doubt face – we are committed to uniting as one team while continuing to transform and evolve our business for the future. That’s why, in the coming months, you’ll be hearing more about our strategy for long-term growth as a combined company. With the leadership and talent across our teams, I have no doubt we will be able to deliver.

It’s an exciting road in front of us, and I can’t wait to get started.


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