December 4, 2019 3:02 pm

What does Viacom-CBS merger mean for Paramount Pictures?

Paramount Pictures streaming
Paramount Pictures

Wednesday marked the official reunion between Viacom and CBS, but what does that mean for Paramount Pictures’ video library?

Paramount is under the ViacomCBS corporate umbrella, newly reinstated after 13 years apart, per the Los Angeles Times. The major studio boasts excellent movie titles from esteemed auteurs such as Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola and James Cameron.

Could all these prestigious movies find their way to one streaming service? For the modern cord-cutting generation, we can only hope!

Drastic rebrand concerns investors


As the previously cited report states, due to CBS’ prominence in cable TV, stocks have dropped since the merger was announced in August.

Cord-cutting is creaming traditional cable and satellite TV deals in the modern era. CBS and Viacom coming together is an effort to combat that, although its ambitions will ultimately have to go toward streaming.

However, it’s unclear whether these two corporations can unite on a creative vision for the future. There’s also the matter of having experienced, new-guard leadership to shepherd the conglomerate into a new entertainment era.

Following suit of its corporate superiors, the Paramount Network is on TV and plays its movies. The only thing is, to access it, you need a cable/satellite subscription.

Paramount Pictures catalog to CBS All Access?


CBS’ own streaming service focuses on what it does best: long-running TV shows and sports. The extremely limited film collection on CBS All Access suggests plenty more can be done to compete with other streaming giants.

But will CBS All Access ever take that step? It’s unclear. On the strength of this new merger with Viacom, though, it seems more feasible for CBS than it did before.

Again, there’s a lot of precedent and history for CBS to overcome as a brand so entrenched in television.

Although CBS All Access recently teamed up with Nickelodeon to add shows beginning in January, Nickelodeon also extended a multi-year deal with Netflix via Viacom. The lack of unity in this merger is already showing.

Showtime! Or: the upside of a new streaming service


Showtime is also a ViacomCBS subsidiary. Per the LA Times report, Showtime has access to Paramount’s vault of movies right now. On the other hand, there’s no way it could stack up against the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ or even Apple TV+.

Netflix is the original streamer and is willing its way to Oscars buzz. It’s reasserting itself as a legitimate power. Apple and Disney have Monopoly money, as does Amazon.

It seems necessary for CBS and Viacom to put their minds together and create a new streaming service — or perhaps Frankenstein together Showtime and CBS All Access.

And given the collection of Paramount Pictures movies it has, ViacomCBS could carve out a unique streaming niche. Instead of loaning out classics like Chinatown or action thrillers like Mission: Impossible — Fallout to superiors streamers, it could be the exclusive home for such films.

I mean, the great Hitchcock movies, The Godfather trilogy, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryanthe list goes on as to how many stupendous titles Paramount Pictures has.

In addition to bridging generations with classic selections, this hypothetical streamer could use the newfound cash from the merger to invest in original programming.

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