Media holdings company Red Ventures is in talks to buy consumer technology news and reviews website CNET Networks from ViacomCBS, according to people familiar with the ongoing negotiations.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news Tuesday, and said that Red Ventures is considering paying up to $500 million for CNET. ViacomCBS told TheWrap it wouldn’t comment on the deal or its prospective worth. One person with knowledge of the ongoing deal said the Journal’s report was “accurate.”
Red Ventures did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Red Ventures is based in Fort Mill, S.C. and was founded in 2000. The potential CNET buy would add yet another consumer review-focused business to its growing portfolio of media brands — which includes Reviews.com, travel rewards website The Points Guy and healthcare information site Healthline, which it acquired in July. Red Ventures also paid $1.4 billion for a personal finance publisher called Bankrate in November 2017, according to funding database PitchBook Data Inc.
CNET launched in 1994 and was originally a print magazine before it began producing video content. ViacomCBS bought CNET in June 2008 for $1.8 billion, and Viacom merged CNET with its existing CBS Interactive division.
Viacom is planning to consolidate its various streaming sites into one giant “super service” which will launch in early 2021 and contain content from Showtime, CBS All Access, and the extensive ViacomCBS library which includes Comedy Central, BET and the Smithsonian channels.