Coincidentally just in time for the Season Two premiere of Succession, Shari Redstone (of the Redstone media empire, naturally) has announced CBS Corp. will merge with cable programming giant Viacom Inc. and rebrand as ViacomCBS, per Reuters.
Approved unanimously by both companies’ boards, the deal will combine Viacom’s assets with those of the broadcast TV behemoth, thus increasing the network’s content offering to customers. The merged company now owns an extensive roster of recognizable brands, including MTV, Showtime, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network and the Paramount Pictures studio, and offers a library of more than 140,000 TV episodes and 3,600 movies, per The Verge.
It will take months for the deal to close.
This is a massive step forward for Redstone, who controls both companies under her father’s National Amusements Inc. holding company and has unsuccessfully attempted to merge the two entities three times since 2016.
Well—this is a big deal all across the board: The newly fused company can now enter the thorny conglomerate playing field alongside the likes of AT&T, Disney, Apple, Netflix and slick newcomer WarnerMedia, though it’ll take quite some time for the playing field to be leveled. It’s important to note, however, that CBS and Viacom have a combined sales value of $28 billion, nearly double that of Netflix’s $16 billion in sales.
The deal unites the broadcast TV behemoth with the media conglomerate company for the first time since Viacom Inc. acquired CBS Corporation and subsequently spun off into the present-day CBS and Viacom entities in 2005.