Paramount’s $1.5 Billion Write-Down Is the Bill for Peak TV Coming Due | Analysis

The gutting of Showtime’s slate as it folds into Paramount+ is a Wall Street-pleasing purge — and a sign of the times

Higher prices, fewer shows and more franchise spin-offs: The bill for peak TV is coming due, and media companies are hoping they can pass on the cost to consumers and shareholders. Paramount Global’s announcement that it could write down as much as $1.5 billion in content this year as it merges Paramount+ and Showtime is just the latest sign of the newly cost-conscious stage of the streaming revolution, experts and analysts told TheWrap.

Paramount is just one of many media companies looking to rationalize their portfolios: Consider Disney’s Hulu dilemma or Warner Bros. Discovery’s pending plan to combine HBO Max and Discovery+. But Paramount may be moving the most decisively to scale back a famous brand from the era of cable TV to bolster its direct-to-consumer business and cut costs, as investors grow impatient with streaming losses. Like many of its peers, Paramount has also pledged 2023 will be a year of “peak investment,” with red ink subsiding in the future.

Become a member to read more.

Scott Mendelson

Before joining The Wrap, Scott Mendelson got his industry start in 2008 with a self-piloted film blog titled "Mendelson's Memos." In 2013, he was recruited to write for where he wrote almost exclusively for nearly a decade. In that time he published copious in-depth analytical and editorialized entertainment industry articles specializing in (but not exclusively focused upon) theatrical box office. A well-known industry pundit, Mendelson has appeared on numerous podcasts and been featured as a talking head on NPR, CNN, Fox and BBC.