CEO Bob Bakish Confirms Paramount+, Showtime Merger Coming
January 30, 2023
Scuttlebutt about a possible merger between subscription streaming VOD services Paramount+ and Showtime in the U.S. has been confirmed, according to a reported staff memo from Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish.
The pending consolidation will combine Showtime’s linear distribution with streaming under the Paramount+ brand umbrella and be called “Paramount+ with Showtime.” Pricing and launch date have not been disclosed. Showtime is currently available to Paramount+ subs as a discounted $14.99 bundle without ads,$11.99 with ads.
Paramount+ also currently offers Showtime content in Europe, and the latter is available in a joint offering with Comcast-owned Sky satellite TV platform, branded Sky Showtime.
Notable Showtime original content includes the “Dexter” franchise, “Your Honor,” “Yellowjackets,” “Billions,” “Homeland, “The Chi and “Fellow Travelers,” among others.
Chris McCarthy will continue to head Showtime’s original content production and linear channel, with Tom Ryan, CEO of Streaming at Paramount Global, handling all over-the-top video matters.
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“This new combined offering demonstrates how we can leverage our entire collection of content to drive deeper connections with consumers and greater value for our distribution partners,” Bakish wrote in the memo. “This change will also drive stronger alignment across our domestic and international Paramount+ offerings, as international Paramount+ already includes Showtime content. And, very importantly, this integration will unlock operational efficiencies and financial benefits across our broader portfolio.”
In a separate memo, McCarthy hinted that the consolidation would result in some Showtime shows not being renewed, including programs reportedly generating less than 10% of the streamer’s viewership. Series include “Three Women,” “American Gigolo” and “Let the Right One In.”
McCarthy plans to hold a Town Hall in Los Angeles the week of Feb. 23rd with Showtime employees to delve further into the details of the merger, which could include layoffs.
“Showtime content appeals to metro-minded viewers who are more culturally diverse with a higher concentration living in cities vs. the population at large,” McCarthy wrote. “These audiences and themes are complementary to the Paramount+ brand, which is much broader, appealing to the entire family and general market audiences across the country.”