October 18, 2021

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(VIAC), Comcast Company (NASDAQ:CMCSA) – Assessment: Is ViacomCBS Seriously Getting Shopped For A Sale?

A new rumor is currently being floated by Fox Small business reporter Charles Gasparino that ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC) is currently being shopped all-around for a probable purchaser. However, widespread sense may well suggest the story has no legs.

Who Says What: ViacomCBS inventory popped Monday afternoon right after Gasparino tweeted, “BREAKING: Greatest takeaway from the #SunValley Allen & Co conference: Shari Redstone made it apparent she’s buying @ViacomCBS and not just to @comcast.”

He followed up with an physical appearance on his community that Redstone’s actions “could lay the groundwork” to ViacomCBS to be merged with Comcast Company (NASDAQ: CMCSA), however, he also hedged himself by noting there were no “merger meetings” at the convention.

Gasparino’s claim stands out from other significant media concentrated on the celebration, who did not report that Redstone, the company’s chairwoman, “made it clear” that the business was up for sale. 

A July 8 post in the New York Write-up carrying the headline “Tongues wagging in excess of Shari Redstone assembly with Comcast” noted Comcast CEO Brian Roberts briefly met with Redstone throughout the Allen & Co. conference in Idaho. The Write-up sourced its story to a single nameless “attendee with information of the sitdown.”

Shari Redstone was asked in the Post’s article about conference with Roberts. Her reply: “I satisfy with everyone” — an reply she provided when on her way to a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

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Truth Checks: Any likely merging of ViacomCBS and Comcast straight away runs into an difficult regulatory roadblock: federal law stops a one organization from owning two nationwide broadcast tv networks, which usually means both ViacomCBS jettisons CBS or Comcast ditches NBC. And while broadcast television audience sizes have been shedding floor to cable tv and streaming expert services, the two networks are nevertheless thought of jewels in the companies’ respective crowns and are unlikely to be auctioned off.

Final thirty day period, the Wall Avenue Journal tapped into its possess nameless sources to assert Comcast had unsuccessfully approached ViacomCBS forward of the launch of its Paramount+ streaming company in March to workforce up and set ViacomCBS content material on its Peacock provider.

ViacomCBS did not comment on that tale, which also employed an anonymous source to report Comcast strategies to pull NBC material up coming calendar year from the Hulu services it now shares with Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and stop its movie licensing offer to populate Peacock with extra popular material. Consequently, why would Comcast require to expend billions acquiring ViacomCBS’ content by way of a merger when it has additional than a balanced provide of its possess titles to hold Peacock in flight?

Lest we neglect, ViacomCBS is not in lousy well being. In accordance to its latest earnings report, its initially-quarter profits of $7.4 billion is up 14% 12 months-about-yr while its running cash flow of $1.5 billion is up 14%. And when Paramount+ is not in a neck-and-neck race with rivals Disney+ and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), it even so noticed a 65% yr-over-12 months spike in its 1st-quarter world wide streaming profits.

The company’s diluted earnings for each share of $1.42 was up 7% from the 81 cents in the exact period in 2020. Sure, the firm’s stock could be additional boisterous, but so could an unlimited amount of shares buying and selling on the exchanges.

In reality, no just one in the money media knows for positive what Redstone’s strategies are.

Picture: Shari Redstone (middle) flanked by CBS and Nickelodeon stars and executives, is found ringing the NASDAQ bell for ViacomCBS in December 2019. Picture courtesy of the Nasdaq Trade.

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