Comcast Corp. and ViacomCBS announced that they have formed a partnership to launch a subscription video on demand service in Europe that it’s calling SkyShowtime.
SkyShowtime is expected to launch in 2022. It will be available in 20 European territories covering 90 million homes. The service will feature programming from the NBCUniversal, Sky and ViacomCBS portfolio of brands, including titles from Showtime, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Plus Originals, Sky Studios, Universal Pictures and Peacock.
Comcast and ViacomCBS have been the subject of reports of potential merger activity because both are trailing Netflix and The Walt Disney Co. in the streaming race. Both companies said they had sufficient scale to compete and didn’t think mergers were necessary.
Comcast's main streaming entry is Peacock. ViacomCBS has the subscription services Paramount Plus and Showtime OTT, plus the ad-supported Pluto TV.
“With the launch of SkyShowtime we are well positioned to utilize our global content engine to create a compelling streaming offering, quickly and at scale, with a smart strategic phased investment,” said Raffaele Annecchino, CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International. “As a complement to our recently announced Paramount Plus partnership with Sky in the UK, Italy, and Germany, SkyShowtime represents a huge opportunity to accelerate our market expansion and build a leadership position in SVOD in Europe.”
The partnership will be structured as a joint venture, with equal investment and joint control by ViacomCBS and Comcast. Further detail on the SkyShowtime service offering, including subscription price, will be announced at a later date.
“Our new streaming service, SkyShowtime, will combine the best of the US and Europe with iconic brands and world-class entertainment for millions of consumers in more than 20 new markets in Europe,” said Dana Strong, group chief executive at Comcast’s Sky. “On the heels of Peacock coming to Sky, this partnership provides an innovative approach to quickly scale internationally and monetize content across Europe. Drawing on the strength of the incredible programming from NBCUniversal, Sky, and ViacomCBS, and powered by Peacock’s platform technology, SkyShowtime will provide a truly compelling lineup for the whole family and strong brand recognition across these regions.”
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.