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ViacomCBS, ‘Parasite’ Distributor CJ ENM Set Global Strategic Partnership

Paramount+ will launch in South Korea in the new year, bundled with CJ ENM’s streaming service

ViacomCBS and CJ ENM, the distributor behind Academy Award-winning film “Parasite,” have set a global strategic partnership, the two companies revealed Tuesday.

Under the comprehensive pact, ViacomCBS and CJ ENM will team on co-productions for original series and films, content licensing and distribution across both ViacomCBS’ Paramount+ and CJ ENM’s streaming service, TVING.

Additionally, Paramount+ will launch in South Korea in 2022, marking the platforms first entry into the Asian market, bundled with CJ ENM’s TVING.

“We are focused on the rapid expansion of Paramount+ in markets around the world,” Raffaele Annecchino, president and CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International, said. “Our strategic partnership with TVING enables us to accelerate Paramount+ subscriber growth while bringing more premium content to audiences in this important market.”

ViacomCBS reached nearly 47 million paid global subscribers combined between its streaming platforms, primarily Paramount+ (formerly known as CBS All Access) and Showtime OTT, in the third quarter of 2021, the company reported last month.

Back in February, ViacomCBS said it expects to reach 65-75 million global subscribers between Paramount+ and Showtime by 2024.

ViacomCBS debuted Paramount+, which was rebranded from CBS All Access on March 4, in Australia and New Zealand in August. The company will be partnering with Sky, a Comcast-owned company, to launch Paramount+ in European markets, including the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, in 2022.

Here are the “key synergy opportunities” for ViacomCBS and CJ ENM, as laid out in the Tuesday press release announcing the global content pact between companies:

  • Paramount Television Studios and CJ ENM/Studio Dragon will co-develop and co-produce English-language scripted series based on CJ ENM/Studio Dragon’s titles for exhibition on Paramount+.
  • ViacomCBS and CJ ENM will co-develop and co-finance movies for theatrical and streaming releases with the plan to distribute one theatrical movie a year in various territories.
  • ViacomCBS and TVING will co-finance new Korean series for global distribution on Paramount+.
  • Paramount+ will license Korean-language series from CJ ENM’s deep library of IP.
  • Pluto TV, the No. 1 free ad-supported streaming television service (FAST) in America, will launch a dedicated CJ ENM branded channel on December 14 featuring K-content for U.S. audiences.

Financial terms of the deal between ViacomCBS and CJ ENM were not disclosed Tuesday.

“Korean entertainment has become a cultural juggernaut with unprecedented demand, and CJ ENM is behind some of the biggest international hits that transcend borders, including Academy Award-winning film ‘Parasite,‘” Dan Cohen, president of global distribution group at ViacomCBS, said. “We are excited to partner with CJ ENM to deliver world-class content that will captivate our collective audiences, expand our intercontinental footprint and accelerate the growth of our streaming services with this powerful collaboration.”

CJ ENM CEO Kang Ho-Sung added: “CJ ENM is growing into a global leading entertainment company in accordance with Chairman Lee Jay-Hyun’s vision of expanding CJ’s presence on a global level,” said Kang Ho-Sung, CEO, CJ ENM. “CJ ENM’s vast library of original IP will create synergy with ViacomCBS’ production capabilities and distribution channels to develop into global smash-hit content.”