Viacom Finally Accepting Streaming as an Inevitability

Viacom Finally Accepting Streaming as an Inevitability

posted Sunday Oct 29, 2017 by Scott Ertz

Viacom Finally Accepting Streaming as an Inevitability

While Comcast (NBC Universal), Disney (ABC), FOX and Turner jointly own Hulu, and CBS has CBS All Access, exclusive home to the new Star Trek: Discovery, Viacom has had a different relationship with streaming media. They were launch partners for several of the cord-cutting services, such as Sling and PlayStation Vue, they quickly removed their content. In addition, finding their content online can be murky.

For example, let's look at Comedy Central's online presence. The network owns a lot of content, and yet only 8 of their series are available on Hulu, and nothing is available on Netflix or Amazon, though you can add Comedy Central to Prime Video as an add-on channel. The company offers an app for multiple platforms, but you can only get the content if you have a cable subscription.

This could finally coming to an end, however, as Viacom has entered into talks with wireless network to bring their content to mobile. This shows a level of acceptance of streaming that the company has seemingly not had previously. It does indicate, however, that their primary focus will be on mobile. Companies that expend effort on a mobile-only effort tend to be looking to attract a younger audience. Considering Viacom owns Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon, this makes sense. However, they also own CMT and Logo, which are not exactly youth-oriented channels.

These conversations could also indicate more than just a partnership. There has been discussion in the past about the possibility of Verizon purchasing Viacom. Speaking with the networks could be an introduction to the possibility of a buyout. Verizon would be a likely company to purchase the company, as they have been buying content recently, and they are now going to have to deal with AT&T owning Time Warner, creating a direct competition. It is also possible that T-Mobile could be interested, as they have been working on content partnerships, but ownership might be their next goal.

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