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ViacomCBS CEO Touts International Push for Paramount+

Michael King

ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said that the company is the largest creator of English and Spanish language content around the world.

“As we speak, we have 900 series in the works,” he said during a session at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference on Wednesday.

“We’re creating content across five continents. We absolutely have a global content strategy for Paramount Plus,” he said. “We’re going to use Paramount Plus to distribute our content globally. It really is about entertainment content outside of the U.S. In the U.S., it’s ‘News, Sports, and a Mountain of Entertainment’. (Internationally), we don’t have the same assets in news and sports as the U.S., so the global push is really entertainment.”

Part of that push involves creating an international streaming home for US-produced content, Bakish said, pointing to the recently announced SkyShowtime deal in Europe. “We’re taking our most successful U.S. formats and rolling them out internationally,” he said.

Bakish said this is particularly relevant with unscripted content, which allows U.S. content to be moved overseas as well as bringing international content in for the domestic market.

“We are taking international shows, dubbing them and putting them in the U.S.,” Bakish said. “This is something some of the other streamers have shown really works.”

Paramount Plus

Paramount+ is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 12,000+ TV show episodes including originals Star Trek: Discovery, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants, and MTV’s Laguna Beach. Meet captivating characters, catch up on your favorite sport, explore new worlds in the growing collection of Paramount+.

Previously under the name ‘CBS All Access,’ Subscribers can choose between their Essentials Plan (which includes ads) for $4.99/month, or go commercial-free with their Premium Plan for $9.99/month. Subscribers can add Showtime to either plan for an additional $3/month.

With their Premium Plan, in addition to not having ads, you will also get access to your local CBS affiliate to stream your local news, prime-time line-up, and late-night. You will also be able to download offline and watch select shows in 4K.

With the lower cost “Essential” plan, you will still be able to watch live NFL games, Champions League, and national news – but you will no longer get your local CBS affiliate like the old ad-supported plan.

With their new app, enjoy advanced recommendations, curated homepages, and new content categories while still being able to stream major live sports like NFL, College Football, College Basketball. Sports fans will also appreciate the service’s inclusion of NFL on CBS, PGA Tour, along with every match of UEFA Champions League and Serie A.

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International Streaming Expansion Includes Pluto TV

Bakish said that the international streaming expansion for ViacomCBS includes Pluto TV — which has already launched throughout Latin America. He said the company is announcing an expansion into Italy for the advertising-supported streaming service.

He also touted an increase in advertising revenue for Pluto TV around the world for this year.

“I mentioned Pluto will deliver over a billion dollars (in streaming revenue) this year,” Bakish said. “All streaming advertising (from Pluto TV) will be over $2 billion this year.”

Pluto TV was acquired by ViacomCBS in January 2019 and separates curated content into individual channels for viewers.

Much of the content on Pluto comes from the ViacomCBS portfolio, but a significant amount also comes from other domestic and international sources.

Pluto TV

Pluto TV is a free live TV streaming service that provides more than 250 channels of live TV and thousands of on demand movies and TV shows.

Most of what you’ll find on Pluto TV qualifies as “background television.” It’s fine to keep on while you’re scrolling on your phone or cooking something in the kitchen.

Because these aren’t traditional live TV channels, it’s not a great option for live events, news, or sports, but it’s a solid choice for cord cutters who want to supplement their other services with some “comfort food” TV.


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