Advanced Television

Bakish: Charter, Disney showdown ‘inevitable’

September 8, 2023

Paramount CEO Bob Bakish says the stand-off between Charter and Disney is an “inevitable” consequence of the trends in DTC and pay-TV and their apparent incompatibility. He says ralationships have to “modernise” and says his company is a good example.

“Frankly, it wasn’t a surprise, the exact timing was, but it was inevitable that something like this would happen. And I would point out that because we thought about this, we’ve actually evolved our portfolio, our strategy and our relationships really over the last seven years as we continue to modernise our business and I’d point to a couple of things. One is we have co-marketing agreements with virtually every MVPD, vMVPD distributor in the U.S for our streaming services. So they very much have an interest in the broadband side of our business, video distribution, as well as the linear side of the business. So that’s something we’ve done. Second thing is if you look outside the US, we’ve taken that a step further where there are multiple customers, Sky, some others where they actually provide our streaming product Paramount+ in this case as a tier offering for their sets out box consumers, again, investing them in our streaming service getting access to our product. Add to that, when we when we look at skinny bundles and Charter Spectrum Essentials is an example of a skinny bundle. We are in that too.”

“We’re dealing with is a transforming media ecosystem. We fundamentally believe in multi-platform, which means we believe in the linear ecosystem and in the streaming ecosystem. And we’re focused on providing our partners solutions for both as consumer behavior continues to migrate. So yes, inevitably you have to modernise these relationships. You have to do things like again, streaming co-marketing partnership,” Bakish told the Golman Sachs Communacopia event.

“You’ve got to modernise these relationships. We’re doing it, we’re very pleased by the way with the financial expression of Paramount+ with Showtime on a multi platform basis. And frankly, I think we’re ahead of the curve,” he added.

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