The rollout of the SkyShowtime streaming platform across Europe in 2021 apparently wasn’t the only joint venture for Paramount Global and Comcast. The two media giants reportedly have discussed a separate joint venture partnership linking their respective Paramount+ and Peacock subscription streaming platforms.
The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the situation, reported that the talks revolved around combining services that would have tallied almost 95 million domestic subscribers, in addition to multiple cost synergies.
Peacock, with 30 million subs, and Paramount+ with 63 million, lag significantly behind market behemoth Netflix, which ended 2023 with more than 260 million subs worldwide, and more importantly, $5.5 billion in net income. Both Peacock and Paramount+ are not available in most foreign markets, with the exception of Paramount+, which is streaming in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Latin America, the Nordics and Ireland.
The JV scuttlebutt comes as Paramount Global and corporate parent National Amusements entertain separate third-party merger solicitations from SkyDance Media and media entrepreneur Byron Allen.
With media companies under the gun to reign in costs and bring profitability to their direct-to-consumer streaming business units, consolidation is the name of the game — especially as the market embraces live-sports streaming. Peacock spent $110 million for the rights to live-stream the first-ever NFL Wild Card Playoff Game.
Paramount live-streamed Super Bowl LVIII, in addition to weekly NFL regular season games.
Recently Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery announced they are partnering to launch a co-owned sports streaming app, which would also include Disney+, Hulu, ESPN and Max.