1. On-Again, Off-Again – CBS & Viacom Are Back Together
After a well-documented breakup back in 2005, CBS and Viacom are in serious conversations to reunite once again. As media competition expands, margins tighten, and content is everywhere, mega-mergers are looking like the best chance for some companies to stay alive and relevant. The Disney/21st Century Fox, as well as AT&T/Time Warner are turning up the heat for other media companies to join forces or get left behind. The partnership of CBS and Viacom would position the new company on a strong competitive footing by consolidating the content from both companies into a unified eco-system. While the Viacom content could help CBS boost its paid subscription service CBS All Access (which is currently suffering from limited content value), it could in turn help Viacom make something of their Philo streaming service – analysts speculate that the services will merge to rival Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, and the soon-to-come Disney streaming service. An added game changer could be that CBS will have a leg up in securing the NFL broadcast and streaming rights. Big alliances like this one tend to shake things up, create more innovation in the space, and challenge the status quo. It’s worth keeping an eye on this as part of the larger trends reshaping the TV landscape as a whole.