No News is No News for CBS and Viacom

CBS Television Studios

CBS Television Studios

I know that I told you I would be back today with that big merger announcement from CBS and Viacom, and well...this is not it. As of recording this show, the big expected announcement has not materialized. Several news outlets are watching the two companies for any sign of a development, but the long and short of it is, until there’s an official announcement, no news is just no news.

One thing I failed to outline to you yesterday, however, is why should you care? Regular listeners to Daily Star Trek News will know that rumors of a merger between CBS and Viacom have been swirling since long before I started Daily Star Trek News. And over time, I’ve covered all the main aspects you need to know. But I have some new listeners since Comic Con and STLV, and given the reportedly imminent nature of an announcement, I figure it’s worth recapping the major themes.

So here it is: a merger between CBS and Viacom could potentially see the reunification of the Star Trek franchise, which has been split between the two companies since 2006. The exact terms of the split are not known, but colloquially, CBS owns production of the television version of Star Trek, while Paramount Pictures (which is owned by Viacom) owns production of the film version. Many Star Trek fans - correctly or not - consider that merging CBS and Viacom would also mean that Star Trek would be back under one roof, which could dramatically change how the property is handled across television and film.

The potential merger of CBS and Viacom isn’t just big news to Star Trek fans though - Hollywood investors are watching developments with rapt attention because of the potential impacts on both the broadcast television and streaming video on demand industries. As a result of yesterday’s anticipated announcement, Variety reported that as the day came and went, stocks for both CBS and Viacom fell, which they say was “likely influenced by expectations and rampant market speculation that a merger deal was to be unveiled on Monday. Members of the boards of both companies spent the weekend wrapped up in merger discussions that stretched late into the night on Sunday and continued Monday.”

Variety also pointed out that “sources close to the situation said negotiations remain fluid and there is no certainty that a deal will come to fruition. At the same time, sources said there are no signs of either side back-pedaling on previous agreements or any other major breach that would indicate the talks have gone off the rails,” Variety reported.

And so we continue to wait.



Alison Pitt