Television

Comcast and ViacomCBS team up to launch a new streaming service ‘SkyShowtime’ in European regions

Comcast and ViacomCBS on Wednesday disclosed a partnership to launch a new subscription video-on-demand service into international markets, named SkyShowtime, over 20 European regions incorporating 90 million homes in 2022.

The service, named “SkyShowtime,” is relied upon to launch in 2022 and carry out more than 20 European nations including Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands. It will incorporate libraries from Comcast-owned Sky and NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS brands like Showtime, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Pictures. The new service will incorporate both new and previously released films and TV series and will have over 10,000 hours of content.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS decided to partner together all through much of Europe because each organization felt there was certifiably not an enormous enough streaming appetite for numerous products in those nations, as per individuals acquainted with the matter. Pricing will vary market to market, however, it will be “competitive” with different products in all nations, said individuals, who asked not to be named because the details are as yet private.

The two entertainment majors were investigating joined opportunities in the international sphere, instead of planning a full-out merger. Recently, it was reported that ViacomCBS was partnering with Comcast-owned Sky for the launch of streaming platform Paramount+ in a host of European countries including the UK, Italy, and Germany.

Those regions don’t overlap with SkyShowtime, which is hoping to carry out in the following: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

The partnership will be structured as a joint venture, with equivalent investment and joint control by ViacomCBS and Comcast. The news comes after recent reports that the organizations were investigating an international streaming partnership rather than a potential outright merger, which a few spectators have recommended.

The platform will have 10,000+ hours of content including titles from Showtime, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Paramount+ Originals, Sky Studios, Universal Pictures, and Peacock.

The partnership is an equivalent investment and joint control between ViacomCBS and Comcast. Pricing and full content offering will be uncovered sometime later. The plan is dependent upon regulatory approval.

The new SVOD service is relied upon to launch in 2022, subject to regulatory approval. It will eventually be accessible to shoppers in Albania, Andorra, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

Shares of ViacomCBS rose almost 5% at 2:15 p.m. ET. Comcast shares were generally flat.

The news comes only two weeks after ViacomCBS said it would partner with Sky to launch Paramount+ in Europe. Last month, a few media outlets detailed Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts and ViacomCBS Chairman Shari Redstone had supposedly met to talk about approaches to cooperate.

SkyShowtime is organized as a joint endeavor with equivalent ownership from the two organizations. It will run on NBCUniversal’s platform. Comcast decided to use the Sky branding, instead of Peacock, since it’s better known in Europe, one of the people said.

Both NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS trail behind large numbers of the streaming giants, with only 54 million Peacock sign-ups and 42 million streaming subscribers respectively. That puts them behind streaming giants like Netflix, Disney, and Amazon.

Further details, including the subscription cost, will be declared at a later date.

“SkyShowtime will bring together decades of direct-to-consumer experience and the very best entertainment, movies, and original series from the NBCUniversal, Sky, and ViacomCBS portfolio of brands, including titles from Showtime, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Paramount+ Originals, Sky Studios, Universal Pictures, and Peacock,” the companies said. “The service’s vast slate will span all genres and audience categories, including scripted dramas, kids and family, key franchises, premiere movies, local programming, documentaries/factual content, and more.”

“SkyShowtime will be home to 10,000+ hours of entertainment from some of the top creators and most beloved content from around the world,” the partners said. It will incorporate first-run, new movies, and TV seasons launching each month with a quality library ever top favorites, classics, and family and children programming.

ViacomCBS Networks International and Comcast’s Sky had before in the month revealed a deal to launch ViacomCBS’ Paramount+ streamer on Sky platforms in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria in 2022 as part of a new multi-year distribution agreement.

“With the launch of SkyShowtime we are well-positioned to utilize our global content engine to create a compelling streaming offering, quickly and at scale, with a smart strategic phased investment,” said Raffaele Annecchino, president and CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International. “As a complement to our recently announced Paramount+ partnership with Sky in the U.K., Italy, and Germany, SkyShowtime represents a huge opportunity to accelerate our market expansion and build a leadership position in SVOD in Europe.”

Said Dana Strong, Group Chief Executive, Sky: “Our new streaming service, SkyShowtime, will combine the best of the U.S. and Europe with iconic brands and world-class entertainment for millions of consumers in more than 20 new markets in Europe.”

She added: “On the heels of Peacock coming to Sky, this partnership provides an innovative approach to quickly scale internationally and monetize content across Europe. Drawing on the strength of the incredible programming from NBCUniversal, Sky, and ViacomCBS, and powered by Peacock’s platform technology, SkyShowtime will provide a truly compelling lineup for the whole family and strong brand recognition across these regions.”

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