Advanced Television

Bakish: Strikes haven’t ‘saved Paramount+’

October 18, 2023

Nick Snow @ MIPCOM

Bob Bakish, head of Paramount, told an audience at MIPCOM that suggestions the Hollywood strikes had saved his company was ‘wildly overstated’.

Bakish allowed that “the strike is accretive to cash in 2023 and that is true for the industry [as a whole]… We are playing the hand we were dealt,” he said at a ceremony to name him MIPCOM Cannes Personality of the Year Award.

Bakish described how Paramount has had to innovate due to the content well drying up, with reality series extended in length and cable shows like Yellowstone airing on CBS. He said that after the walk out from talks last week, he felt the two sides were ready to return to the negotiating table.

Bakish reaffirmed Paramount’s commitment to content licensing beyond its own channels. He said content licensing as an “ecosystem that gives a robust supply of content from diverse creatives to entertain consumers,” in an implied criticism of his peers move to content exclusivity. He also claimed there will be a “significant reduction in streaming losses” next year.

“Yes there has been continued discussion about streaming and the robustness of that business and profitability but it’s more true than two years ago that it is important to have significant exposure to streaming […] Consumers continue to move in that direction,” he noted.

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