CBS and Viacom Merger Talks: What’s Changed and Who Stands to Benefit Most?

“They’ll both win if they get together,” Needham analyst Laura Martin says. “They’re going to get it done. Though, you could argue they’re still not big enough together.”

As CBS Corp. and former sister company Viacom Inc. rekindle talks of a long-anticipated merger, a potential deal could look very different than a year ago, when both sites walked away from the negotiating table amid a legal tug of war.

“Viacom is in a much better position since last time. They’ve shown the revitalization is gaining traction,” CFRA Research analyst Tuna Amobi told TheWrap. “Their leverage is better than last time.”

Viacom, which owns MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures, has taken significant and noticeable steps to better position itself both in the industry, where cable TV channels have become less popular, and in negotiations with CBS. Viacom earlier this year bought the ad-supported free streaming service Pluto TV, which has shown early success with monthly active users increasing 31% since December and reaching 16 million users in April.

In another sign of increasing profitability, Viacom over the past two quarters also has reported year-over-year growth and exceeded forecasts for earnings-per-share, though Viacom shares…

Oops! This is for WrapPRO members only, please sign up or login to view.
Oops! This is a Members Only post! Become a member to access!

Join WrapPRO for Exclusive Content, Full Video Access, Premium Events, and More!

For Only $1/Day Members Access:

In-Depth Coverage
  • 5 exclusive members-only stories a week
  • Digital Video industry analysis and deep-dive features
  • Daily WrapPRO newsletter covering the latest digital video industry news
Exclusive Video
  • Access to full length Members-Only Video archive
  • Video of notable sessions from TheWrap Events (TheGrill, Power Women Summit)
Vip Access
  • VIP seating for TheWrap's Screening Series with stars and filmmakers
  • Access to 'chill spots' at select industry events Sundance, TIFF, Newfronts and more
  • Access to exclusive invite-only events
  • DataBank showcasing key stats and streaming video trends in the OTT market
  • In-depth entertainment industry research and whitepapers
Trey Williams

Film Reporter covering the biz • • Twitter: @trey3williams