A new rebrand is in the works for Paramount after CEO Bob Bakish announced the company is merging Showtime and Paramount+. As part of the merger, Paramount+ will be rebranded as Paramount+ With Showtime, which will be overseen by Tom Ryan. Meanwhile, Chris McCarthy will continue to oversee network operations for Showtime, a move that Bakish says will create opportunities for the company and for consumers.
Bakish said in a memo to employees that the changes will “unlock operational efficiencies and financial benefits” for Paramount. The memo, shared by The Hollywood Reporter, did not confirm whether the merger will result in layoffs or if there will be a price change for subscribers, saying only that there will be updates in the coming weeks.
Bakish wrote in the memo, “While we are confident this is the right move for our company, our consumers, and our partners, we know this change brings uncertainty for the teams working on these brands and businesses.” He added, “We are committed to being as transparent and thoughtful as possible throughout this process, and we expect to share additional details in the coming weeks.”
The news comes a year after Paramount created a discount bundle offer for customers to subscribe to both Showtime and Paramount+ while keeping both the channel and app separate. The pricing for Paramount+ currently starts at $4.99 a month and Showtime’s streaming service is $10.99 a month, while subscribers who bundle the two pay $11.99 a month.
Paramount says the impending change will result in cuts to TV shows on both platforms that McCarthy says bring in less than 10% of viewers. The company revealed its first three canceled shows which include the dramas Let the Right One In, American Gigolo, and the Three Women adaptation starring Shailene Woodley.
Other shows reportedly being considered for the chopping block include Yellowjackets, Billions, Dexter, and The Chi. McCarthy said Paramount has “already begun conversations with our production partners about what content makes sense moving forward and which shows have franchise potential.”
The merger comes as streaming services have worked to standout and boost subscribers in what’s an increasingly saturated streaming landscape. Disney was one of the first to introduce a bundle streaming option, combining Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, while Netflix introduced a cheaper, ad-supported option last year.
Despite the stiff competition out there and reports that some shows are already getting cut, McCarthy said in the memo that by merging Showtime and Paramount+, the company will be able to reach a larger global audience and will provide a greater amount of content to consumers.
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