Media

Showtime to combine with Paramount+, rebrand with new name


In this photo illustration, Paramount+ (Paramount Plus) logo is seen on a smartphone against its website in the background.

Pavlo Gonchar | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

Paramount Global is further joining its streaming and cable TV business by combining its Showtime TV network and streaming service, Paramount+.

The company said Monday it plans to integrate Showtime’s streaming service fully into Paramount+, its marquee standalone streaming platform and response to the streaming wars.

But the union doesn’t stop there. As part of this integration, the premium cable TV network, known for shows like “Yellowjackets,” “Billions,” and “Dexter,” will be rebranded as Paramount+ with Showtime. The TV channel will also feature content from Paramount+, which has produced original series that spun off from the popular “Yellowstone” and “Criminal Minds” franchises. People can subscribe to Showtime for an extra fee on their pay-TV bundle,

Pricing for the combined streaming platform and other details will be announced in coming weeks, a Paramount spokesperson said Monday. Paramount+ starts at $4.99 a month, and Showtime’s streaming service is $10.99 a month. A bundled offering of the two already exists, beginning at $11.99 a month.

In November, Paramount reported that Paramount+ had 46 million customers. The company reports fourth quarter earnings Feb. 16.

The move comes as media companies work to make their streaming businesses profitable. Competition is at an all-time high following a pandemic-fueled streaming boom, slowing the addition of subscribers. Stock prices have suffered, in part, due to this, and these companies have been experimenting to grow their streaming businesses.

Last year Netflix introduced a cheaper, ad-supported tier. While Disney was early to bundling its streaming options – Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ – it also debuted an ad-supported option and increased prices last year. Warner Bros. Discovery has been pulling back on content for its HBO Max, as it looks to cut costs, and also plans to debut a combined HBO Max and Discovery streaming app in the spring.

“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,” Paramount CEO Bob Bakish said in a memo to employees Monday.

During the fall, Paramount restructured its Showtime business. Executive David Nevins, who’d been running the network since 2016, departed and Chris McCarthy and Tom Ryan took over. McCarthy also runs Paramount’s cable-TV networks like MTV and Comedy Central. Ryan runs Paramount’s streaming segment.

While McCarthy and Ryan will remain in place, Bakish acknowledged that the integration “brings uncertainty to the teams” that work on each brand.

–CNBC’s Stephen Desaulniers contributed to this report.



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