ViacomCBS could be preparing to enter the streaming era in a much bigger way.
The company is planning a streaming service that would combine CBS All Access with the rest of its assets, including Paramount, Pluto TV and Viacom’s stable of channels. The news was first reported by CNBC, and later confirmed to TheWrap by an individual with knowledge of the discussions. The company is considering both an ad-supported and premium option, the latter of which would include Showtime.
ViacomCBS declined to comment.
CNBC reported that discussions are still preliminary and no name or price point has been settled, though it would likely be less than $10 a month. The company is expected to formally announce the streaming plans during its Feb. 20 earnings.
If ViacomCBS were to roll up all of its assets into one major streaming offering, it would be an about-face for the company. CEO Bob Bakish has argued multiple times that ViacomCBS is better off keeping its various smaller streaming services — along with CBS All Access, the company has an OTT-version of Showtime, BET+ and Nickelodeon’s Noggin. Viacom acquired the free, ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV last year.
The idea was to pollinate CBS All Access with content from Viacom networks like MTV and Nickelodeon, while also beefing up its Showtime streaming service with Paramount films. “Demand for content from third parties is incredible. And the combination of our assets and capabilities — with the fact that some of our competitors are pulling back — makes this sector an enormous opportunity,” Bakish said during the company’s most recent earnings call in November.
Viacom and CBS completed their merger last December and last week announced that former NBCUniversal executive George Cheeks would be taking over as head of CBS assets, with Joe Ianniello leaving the company.
ViacomCBS would be entering an increasingly-crowded streaming field that is set to get three new entrants this spring with Quibi, Peacock and HBO Max. Disney, which launched Disney+ last November, has already amassed nearly 30 million subscribers.