A new branding is in the works for Paramount after CEO Bob Bakish announced that 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 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 note, shared by The Hollywood Reporterdid not confirm whether the merger will result in any 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’re confident this is the right decision for our business, our consumers, and our partners, we know this change brings uncertainty to 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 plan to share additional details in the coming weeks.”
The news comes a year after Paramount created a discount bundle allowing customers to subscribe to both Showtime and Paramount+ while keeping the channel and app separate. Pricing for Paramount+ currently starts at $4.99 per month and Showtime’s streaming service is $10.99 per month, while subscribers who bundle the two pay $11.99 per month.
Paramount says the impending change will lead to cuts to TV shows on both platforms that McCarthy says draw less than 10% of viewers. The company unveiled its first three canceled shows which include the dramas Leave the one on the right in, american gigolo, and the adaptation of Three Women starring Shailene Woodley.
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Other shows would have being considered for the chopping block include yellow jackets, Billions, Dexter and The Chi. McCarthy said Paramount has “already started conversations with our production partners about what content makes sense moving forward and what shows have franchise potential.”
Merger comes as streaming services have worked to stand out and increase subscribers in an increasingly saturated streaming landscape. Disney was one of the first to introduce a bundled streaming option, combining Disney+Hulu and ESPN+, while Netflix introduced a cheaper, ad-supported option Last year.
Despite the fierce competition that reigns and points out that some programs are already cut, McCarthy said in the memo that by merging Showtime and Paramount+, the company will be able to reach a wider global audience and deliver a greater amount of content to consumers.