For some time now, there have been talks that Paramount has been looking for other merger or sale options. Now, it is being reported that Paramount is in talks with Warner Bros. Discovery for a possible merger.
According to Axios, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav met with Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish on Tuesday this week in New York to talk about a possible merger. The meeting reportedly lasted several hours and happened at Paramount’s headquarters in Times Square.
What would happen to the networks owned by both?
Reportedly, one of the things discussed was merging Paramount+ and Max into a single streaming service. CBS News would merge with CNN. CBS Sports would also combine with Warner Bros. Discovery’s sports. This would bring all the March Madness games under a single ownership.
They would still be their own networks, but as a joint company they can pool the talent and resources to improve their sports and news coverage.
What about Paramount+ and Max?
According to the report, it is unclear if Warner Bros. Discovery would buy Paramount or if this would be a merger. It is also unclear who would lead this newly merged company.
Paramount has had success with its Paramount+ streaming deal but is still far from being profitable. Max is also not yet profitable but is reportedly hoping to reach that sometime next year. Merging with Warner Bros. Discovery could help both companies become profitable in streaming at a time when most services are not earning money.
How close are we to a deal being done?
It is unknown how advanced these talks are, but this is very similar to how the Warner Bros. and Discovery merger talks started. Consolidation has long been expected in the television market as cord cutting continues to disrupt television. The question now is will a merger with Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount make sense? Only time will tell if these two companies will merge, but talks at the highest levels have reportedly started.
If these two companies do combine, they could create a massive force to take on Disney, FOX, and NBCUniversal as fights over sporting and other TV contracts will soon be coming up for renewals. Most notably NBA TV rights that will will go up for renewal soon with talks starting next year.