According to a report from CNBC, ViacomCBS is planning the launch of a new streaming service that would expand upon the already successful CBS All Access with films from Paramount Studios and Miramax, plus TV programs from networks like MTV and Comedy Central.
The news follows a high-profile merger between Viacom and CBS. CBS had already launched its CBS All Access service before serious movement on the merger began, and Showtime (also owned by ViacomCBS) has offered streaming options for a while now. Previously, Viacom offered some streaming services of its own while also licensing its content to bigger players like Amazon Prime Video. Both CBS All Access and Viacom’s existing streaming services would continue to exist alongside this new service in the company’s current plans.
The future TV landscape is looking increasingly clear: an à la carte selection of major media companies’ individual libraries, with a streaming service for each company. Disney recently launched its own service called Disney+ to early success, and WarnerMedia has begun pulling its properties like the popular sitcom Friends from other streaming services as it prepares to launch its own offering.
A wave of acquisitions, mergers, and consolidation in the media industry means fewer total individual services than might have been imagined a decade ago, though. CBS and Viacom merged in December of last year, following the marriage of Disney and Fox only months earlier in March.
ViacomCBS owns such networks as MTV, VH1, CBS, BET, Showtime, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central, as well as the major film studio Paramount Pictures. It also owns publisher Simon & Schuster and a 50 percent stake in broadcast TV network The CW. (The other half is owned by Warner Bros., now owned by AT&T.)
The CNBC report says that the ViacomCBS leadership is still finalizing its plans. However, the current thinking is that there will be both ad-free and ad-supporter tiers (as is the case with CBS All Access today), with Showtime included in at least one plan. Neither a name nor pricing have been decided.
ViacomCBS is expected to reveal more details about the service on its fourth-quarter earnings call on February 20.