Paramount Puzzle Has Many Pieces

Won't somebody please buy Paramount?

A proposed merger of Paramount Global and Skydance Media fell apart after months of negotiations, leaving Paramount Global still in play for other suitors or prospective partners.

A simple summation of this very complicated turn of events seems to be that the proposed merger had so many conditions and ins and outs that it became impossible to close the deal.

That appeared to be the gist of a statement from Paramount Global's parent company, National Amusements, which is controlled by Shari Redstone, daughter of the late Sumner Redstone.

The statement said the company “did not have an agreement on a deal with Skydance Media and did not anticipate a path forward on this transaction,” The Wall Street Journal reported. And that's that.

“Paramount's value has plummeted on Redstone's watch,” said the last paragraph of the WSJ story. “She held out hope that a big buyer might emerge and buy the whole company, but that didn't happen.” Not yet, anyway.



At the tail end of 2023, rumors swirled that Warner Bros. Discovery was talking to Paramount about a merger or a purchase.

Those rumors seem to have faded, although now it is being suggested that WBD might be interested in buying Paramount's CBS-owned TV stations.

If such a deal were to be made, it could signal that Paramount might be interested in selling itself off piecemeal. Or maybe not.

With that in mind, the question becomes: Does Paramount Global's value lie in its portfolio of assets, or in just some of the assets, each sold separately?

In talking about today's TV giants, the focus goes first and foremost to the fortunes of their streaming businesses.

As it happens, Paramount+ ranks fifth in number of subscribers out of all American-based streaming services. This is higher than I would have thought.

As per the latest data, Paramount+ has 71.2 million subscribers, according to

The four streamers that rank higher are Netflix (No. 1 with 269.6 million) followed by Amazon Prime with 200 million (estimated); Disney+ at 153.6 million, and Max at 99.6 million.

Ranking fifth is not a bad thing, but at the same time, Paramount's subscriber count is less than half of Disney's. Perhaps 71.2 million subscribers is not yet a profitable number.

Maybe the weakness comes down to scale. Paramount is a revered brand in the business of content creation (what was formerly known as movies and TV shows).

But even with its long history, perhaps Paramount doesn't have enough content to compete with Disney and WBD.

If that is the case, why isn't Paramount+ being sold alone to one of them? Maybe Paramount Studios could be part of the package.

Paramount Global’s other best-known assets are the CBS network with all of its sports rights, the CBS-owned TV stations, the company's various cable channels and CBS Media Ventures, the syndication unit that still makes piles of money with the likes of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!”

Of these assets, one could argue that a legacy TV network and the group of O&Os that form the backbone of the network are businesses that at best face uncertain futures, both short- and long term.

But of all the TV assets held by Paramount Global, the ones that the TV Blog feels are the biggest drag of all on this company are its basic cable channels.

Sometimes basic cable seems far more down on its luck than network TV.

The best-known of Paramount Global’s basic cable networks are BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, TV Land and VH-1. So little is happening on any of them that they give the impression of being on life support. 

Anyone who buys them would face a gut-renovation project on par with modernizing an old apartment house or office building that has stood empty and un-maintained for years.

Maybe these are the headwinds Paramount Global is facing as it twists itself into a pretzel to find a buyer or a merger partner. 

2 comments about "Paramount Puzzle Has Many Pieces".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 13, 2024 at 3:42 p.m.

    Adam, the basic issues confronting Paramount seem to be that its cable assets have nosedived in audience and appeal as younger audiences have migrated to streaming and digital video venues. This is a far worse situation than Disney and Comcast face with their cable assets---Disney, in patricular, because of ESPN. In addition Paramount is facing an uphill battle to attain profitability in its streaming operations due to too little viewing split up among too many services. While the Paramount studio would be an attractive acquisition for a rival studio, the CBS TV network and O&O stations---both still profitable----are a better fit with WB/Discovery as it has no broadcast TV presence ---and as is now evident, "legacy or not", linear TV isn't about to disappear as so many have been hoping---and predicting. All of which suggests that the various parts may have to be sold off individually---but one never knows.

  2. Ben B from Retired, June 13, 2024 at 10:09 p.m.

    Yeah, Paramount will be sold piecemeal or that they keep everything Paramount Network is an afterthought once Yellowstone ends no one will watch that network I like Bar Rescue the only show I watch on that network. Dish Network is the next to have to get a deal done with Paramount sometime soon.

Next story loading loading..