‘Mission: Impossible,’ ‘Transformers’ and ‘Star Trek’ franchises would be under the same roof in a merged company.

With CBS Corp. and Viacom finally set to merge, the new ViacomCBS will bring together the Paramount Pictures film studio and both firms’ TV production businesses into a new studio powerhouse.

The combined 2019 revenue of the two companies’ studio businesses, namely Paramount and the CBS TV studio, would amount to more than $6.8 billion, with nearly $4.5 billion of that coming from TV production ($3.6 billion from CBS and $856 million from Viacom), and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $920 million, Credit Suisse analyst Douglas Mitchelson recently estimated.

On an Aug. 13 call with reporters, ViacomCBS CEO designate Bob Bakish highlighted the merged firm’s expanded capability to produce content at scale to add to its library comprising 140,000-plus TV episodes and 3,600-plus film titles, including such “iconic intellectual property” as Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. “It’s true content scale,” he said.

He also vowed that ViacomCBS could “feed escalating demand for third-party content” from the likes of Comcast, Charter, Fox, CBS, Netflix, Disney+ and Facebook Watch. After all, the merger partners said they would bring together “production capabilities across five continents, including more than 750 series ordered to or in production.”

While the deal is set to close only by the end of the year, it seems clear that Paramount chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos, who just renewed his contract on Aug. 12, will oversee the combined film studio operations. Boasting franchises as Mission: Impossible, Transformers and Star Trek, Paramount has been in turnaround mode under Gianopulos’ leadership.

For its latest full fiscal year, ended in September, Paramount’s film unit reported an adjusted operating loss of $39 million after an operating loss of $280 million in the previous year, and a loss of $445 million in the year before that. Management has forecast a return to profitability for the current fiscal year, with ‘s calculations showing that Paramount actually turned the slightest of profits, The Hollywood Reporter$1 million, during calendar year 2018 on a 1 percent revenue gain to $3.1 billion.

Paramount’s growing TV production arm, which the company forecast would double its output this year, has helped boost profits and has had success with Amazon hit series Jack Ryan, Netflix’s Maniac and The Haunting of Hill House, as well as The Alienist for TBS. …read more

Source:: Daily Times


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