Culture&Arts

Viacom, CBS jump on report of new re-merger pursuit

Viacom, CBS jump on report of new re-merger pursuit

None of the parties involved are commenting on the record about potential merger talks, but shares of both CBS and Viacom have spiked based on the report.

Redstone was not immediately available for comment. CBS is the most-watched broadcast network by catering to an older audience that is most likely to watch traditional TV as opposed to Netflix or mobile viewing.

CBS is widely seen as the stronger of the two companies.

TheWrap reported on Friday that Moonves "is now open to the possibility". $VIAb shares now down 2% after hours following spike into the close on initial report.

Viacom spun off CBS as a separate corporation in 2005, with the new CBS also including premium cable channel Showtime and publisher Simon & Schuster.

But much has changed in the previous year. Viacom generates its profit from cable TV channels, so the shrinking universe of pay-TV homes makes it more hard to grow its business. The studio ranked seventh past year among all distributors in market share in the United States and Canada, according to Box Office Mojo.

The Handmaid's Tale: Season Two; Hulu Release New First-Look Photos
It's snowing and their thick, heavy and black costumes are a big change from their red cloaks and white bonnets in season one. It's a pretty long list so the possibilities are endless.

Meanwhile, CBS' stock stagnated in 2017 as investors grew less bullish on media.

But soon after, CNBC that said the two media companies are not in active merger talks, citing multiple reports.

With major competitors such as Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc. getting bigger through multibillion-dollar deals, pressure is building on Viacom and CBS to bulk up. If a deal does happen, it may take a while.

Others have speculated on the prospect of a roll-up of CBS, Viacom and Lionsgate.

Viacom's stock closed at $39.10 today, up almost 10% over the previous day's closing price and continuing to rise in after-hours trading, while CBS's stock closed up 2% at $58.83. But as recently as past year, Shari Redstone said that a merger would have squashed Viacom's "momentum".

CBS stock closed up almost 2%, or $1.05 to $58.83 a share.


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