By CCN Markets: The long-awaited reunification of CBS Corporation and Viacom has finally arrived. After the two entities were split off from each other several years ago, the Sumner Redstone empire has been reconstituted.
And Netflix has yet another juggernaut of a competitor.
Sumner Redstone has always said, “content is king”. Indeed it is, and with 140,000 episodes of television and 3,600 films in their combined vaults, ViacomCBS now has a boatload of content to attack Netflix with.
Netflix has substantially reduced the amount of content it licenses from third-parties, as those third-parties have created their own streaming services.
Netflix moved almost exclusively to producing original programming a number of years ago.
However, the declining quality of Netflix’s content, as well as the sheer amount of it, and its loss of classic shows, may be starting to dissuade subscribers. The company lost domestic subscribers for the first time in its most recent quarter and is making large, ill-advised deals with comedians.
Netflix has an even bigger problem because it has limited capital. All of its original programming costs billions of dollars, almost all of which is borrowed money.
Netflix does not generate any free cash flow. It burns cash.
ViacomCBS, on the other hand, is in a far better position.
Ed Butowsky, managing partner of Chapwood Capital Investment Management, tells CCN:
“Netflix cannot compete with ViacomCBS’ capital structure. It has diverse revenue streams, including advertising and subscription models, and more content than Netflix will ever have. ViacomCBS’ combined profit last year was $3.7 billion with $3 billion of free cash flow”.
ViacomCBS already has a streaming platform called “CBS All-Access”. Now it can start pumping all of its content through that pipe.
Much of that content is very popular. For years, the flagship CBS network has sat atop of network ratings. Programming executives figured out that the CBS brand consisted of all crime shows, all the time, and never wavered from it.
Viacom brings an enormous amount of properties to the fold. The studio entities it brings include:
Paramount Studios, Paramount Animation, Black Entertainment Television, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount television, country music channel, logo, VH1, TVLand, South Park Studios, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nick Toons, and multiple international channels.
Some of Viacom’s most popular global content brands include: the entire Star Trek movie and television franchises, Mission: Impossible, SpongeBob SquarePants, South Park, Transformers, Paranormal Activity, How to Train Your Dragon, Dora The Explorer, A Quiet Place, and the Jack Ryan franchise.
Netflix cannot compete with this amount of content, much less all the other streaming services.