Paramount+ is available for merger again, with MAX possibly interested - The UpStream

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Paramount+ is available for merger again, with MAX possibly interested

posted Sunday Jul 7, 2024 by Scott Ertz

Once again, the fate of Paramount is up in the air. The company has struggled in recent years to catch on to modern television trends, perfect its streaming offerings, and produce and maintain programming. Either the company is stretching itself too thin, or they are in over their heads. As such, the company has looked at various options, including selling the company. Now, reports suggest that the goal is not so much to sell the entire company, but to find a company to merge their streaming operations with.

The modern struggles of Paramount

As the television industry has changed from appointment television on standard cable and broadcast channels to an on-demand streaming model, Paramount and its related brands have really struggled. Broadcast and cable viewership has declined, as it has across the industry. But, the company's streaming efforts have also struggled to find their location in the crowded market.

As a result, the company has been investigating ways to right the ship. The original approach was to sell the entire company as a whole. This would include brands like CBS, BET, and Comedy Central. Initially, conversations between Paramount and Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) looked positive. WBD, the newly merged combination of WarnerMedia and Discovery, was interested in expanding its size and offerings once again, making itself and its MAX streaming service more attractive.

However, earlier this year, those discussions ended, leaving Paramount's fate in question. The possibility of these companies returning to the table for discussions in the future was high, as was the possibility of another buyer stepping up to the plate. While there have been rumors of other buyers having interest, including former executives, nothing has materialized.

Moving to a streaming merger

The new approach appears, according to insiders speaking to CNBC, to be an attempt to merge the Paramount+ streaming service with another service or finding a technology partner to improve the service.

The idea of a technology partner could make sense. The company has a strong history in content creation, but technology has never been a big focus. As such, allowing a technology company to help them beef up the parts of the business they have struggled with. But, with the condition of the service, it might be more difficult to find a partner who is interested in getting involved.

On the other hand, a streaming merger looks like a likely move. There are two obvious possibilities: Peacock and MAX. Peacock, owned by Comcast, has struggled less with its technology and more with its content catalog. Adding the Paramount+ content catalog could enhance its offerings and make it a more attractive service. Add to that the two brands have worked together a lot over the years on projects like Frasier, and the pairing could work.

However, the most likely possibility is MAX. The two companies have already had discussions over a full company merger, so the possibility of joining forces to enhance their streaming options is a big possibility. According to the report, the two companies have already entered discussions, so the possibilities are high that a combined catalog is in the future.


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