ViacomCBS is having a hard time finding its lane. CBS All Access was renamed Paramount+. And the Paramount Network’s biggest hit (“Yellowstone”) isn’t available on Paramount+. The situation almost became even more complicated as the company was on the verge of renaming Paramount Network as “Paramount Movie Network.” Today, Deadline reports, that plan is dead.
The company’s plan was to air 52 original movies each year with one miniseries or scripted series each quarter. COVID-19 slowed production, which put a damper on the plan.
|DTV STREAM||fuboTV||Hulu||Philo||Sling TV||YouTube|
|Paramount Network||•||•||•||•||^ $6||^ $6||•|
All of this is wildly confusing to consumers. If you want to watch “Yellowstone,” new seasons air on Paramount Network, while Seasons 1-3 are on Peacock. “Yellowstone” doesn’t appear on Paramount+ at all, which, again, is confusing since the name is so similar to the Paramount Network.
The streaming situation has been very stop-start for ViacomCBS. Although Paramount+ has a Comedy Central hub, you’ll find “South Park” on HBO Max. To counter this, Paramount+ has some original “South Park” movies. Although it doesn’t hold the streaming rights to “Yellowstone,” Paramount+ is home to the series prequel, “1883.”
There’s also the matter of ViacomCBS owning Showtime and operating it as a standalone streaming/linear service. The logical thing to do is to fold Showtime into Paramount+ to create a super streaming app.
Add to all of this the fact that Paramount is punting its next two “Mission: Impossible” movies into the future and this isn’t painting a rosy picture for the near term.
In time, ViacomCBS will be fine. Many of their missteps have come from a late commitment to streaming, coupled with the desire to preserve a linear legacy. But the numbers are clear, and we’re likely to see a more unified strategy moving forward.
What would make sense for ViacomCBS is to debut its movies theatrically before moving to Paramount+ and Showtime simultaneously. Showtime should remain the home of adult-skewing series, all of which should go to Paramount+ upon airing. All BET 、 CBS 、 Comedy Central 、 MTV 、 Nickelodeon 、 Paramount Network 、と Smithsonian Channel shows should also hit Paramount+ on the same day they air. ViacomCBS can shut down Noggin entirely since its content is already on Paramount+. After an exclusive run on Paramount+, movies and shows can be recycled through Paramount Network and Pluto TV as needed. This creates a holistic cycle that squeezes maximum revenue out of every property. It would also reduce confusion that has been the ViacomCBS calling card since Day 1.