ViacomCBS zooms in on streaming rebrand, and isn't opposed to company sale – FT


With Disney Plus (NYSE:DIS) having raised the streaming stakes and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) still ruling, ViacomCBS (VIAC, VIACA) is preparing to rebrand its older CBS All Access streaming service, with management looking to appeal to a younger crowd and step up.

The CBS brand appeals mainly to older audiences, according to their thinking, and “Paramount Plus” is a leading contender for a new name (following the recent addition of Paramount programming in the service’s latest expansion), the Financial Times reports. Streaming wars have picked up steam with the additions of Apple TV Plus (NASDAQ:AAPL), HBO Max (NYSE:T) and Peacock (NASDAQ:CMCSA).

“We are currently going through a thoughtful branding process that will reflect the expansion and relaunch of the service. Both existing and new original brands are under consideration,” a spokesperson says.

Meanwhile, the company’s not opposed to selling itself – an outcome that was previously unthinkable under the tight grip of mogul Sumner Redstone, who opposed selling (and who died at the age of 97 on Tuesday).

A sale’s not immediately likely as Shari Redstone and the family, management and board all think shares are undervalued. But the rest of the Redstone family is more “logical” with an eye to maximizing shareholder value, and so a sale could happen.

The company nearly chose to sell some or all of the Paramount studio lot, the FT says – possibly to real estate companies or Netflix – but changed its mind after cost cuts elsewhere.





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