Rumors are circulating that a CBS/Viacom merger announcement maybe be coming soon, thanks in no small part to Star Trek.
As everyone knows, as it currently stands the Star Trek franchise is a house divided. In 2005, CBS and Viacom, the parent company of Paramount Studios, split. CBS held onto the television assets and Viacom kept the rights to all the feature films.
The result has been a fractured franchise. It has necessitated two different timelines (Prime and Kelvin) and a lack of focus on how to maximize the potential of Star Trek in an ever changing media landscape. Star Trek: Discovery has demonstrated the power of streaming while the success of the Kelvin Timeline films has shown that Star Trek can still bring in money at the box office if done right.
What are two big media conglomerates to do?
Why, get the band back together and merge of course!
CNBC is reporting that CBS and Viacom are planning to announce they will begin proceedings to become one company again on August 8. CBS, who will be the purchasing company, sees this as the best way to compete in the new streaming landscape against the Netflix and Disneys of the world.
Another reason for the sudden move toward reunification? Star Trek.
According to a new article by The Hollywood Reporter, bringing Star Trek under one roof again is a big reason why the merger talks to have gained traction. Star Trek is a huge franchise with hours upon hours of material already in the can and a ton of potential for more. And in streaming it’s all about content.
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Some insiders — only on deep background, but with a straight face — say that putting Star Trek back under one roof is, indeed, one important reason to reunite Viacom with CBS, much like Disney has worked hard to keep as many Marvel characters as possible in its singular House of Mouse. For that matter, Mission: Impossible also could use some continuity, as Viacom has the films while CBS ran the original series from 1966 to 1973.
Broadly speaking, the industrywide shift to streaming is driving the need for CBS and Viacom to merge: CBS needs more content to feed All Access and its Showtime direct-to-consumer products in order to chase Netflix, Amazon and Hulu and to keep pace with Disney, WarnerMedia and Apple, each of which has its own Netflix competitor in the works.
The new merged company would also include Nickelodeon, the home for the as-yet unnamed Star Trek animated series currently in development.
As a result of the merger, it is a safe bet that all of Star Trek, including all the television shows and films, would all end up on CBS All Access down the road. It would make CBS a power player in the streaming wars right out of the gate and Star Trek would be the crown jewel of their media empire.
Keep it locked on Redshirts Always Die for more on this story as it develops.