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ViacomCBS Says CBS Content Coming to Pluto TV, Nickelodeon Likely to CBS All Access

Jason Gurwin

CBS and Viacom are together once again. The companies were previously merged in 1999, but split in 2006 thinking they would grow faster as separate entities. Now, the companies have entered into a definitive agreement to combine the companies by the end of the year under the ViacomCBS brand.

Both companies hope the deal will help continue to accelerate the growth of their direct-to-consumer streaming platforms — including CBS All Access, Showtime, and Pluto TV — and niche services like Noggin, CBSN, ET Live, and the upcoming BET+.

On today’s call, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish reiterated that CBS content will come to Pluto TV, which would likely begin with the addition of CBS Sports HQ and ET Live.

One of the big opportunities ahead is to bring more kids programming to CBS All Access. Last week, the company announced they will be adding 1,000 hours of kids programming to CBS All Access later this year, but the newly named Chairman and CEO of CBS, Joe Ianello says that with Nickelodeon, “well now, we have the number one (kids) brand in the world.”

In terms of timing of the company taking advantage of their newly combined assets, Bakish said, “there is nothing at all preventing us from moving forward in terms of beginning to unlock that opportunity in the near future.”

When asked if customers should expect a change in price for CBS All Access the company reiterated that they are focused on growth. CBS’ Ianello said “We want to make sure it is competitively priced. So we’re going to continue to drive subscribers, but clearly the value proposition for under $10 live linear programming.”

In February, CBS disclosed that they had surpassed 8 million direct-to-consumer subscribers of CBS All Access and Showtime. The company originally projected that it would take another two years to reach that number of subscribers. The company has now set a new goal to reach 25 million domestic subscribers of both of their OTT services by 2022.