For Paramount, 'It's Eat or Be Eaten Time,' Analyst Says

Top Gun: Maverick
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Faced with the prospect of having to punch up bland interviews with Paramount Global Chair Shari Redstone and CEO Bob Bakish, new New York Times media writer Benjamin Mullin turned to a reliably bombastic source, celebrity media analyst Richard Greenfield.

And the LightShed Partners company principal delivered, predicting that Paramount will have to merge or sell itself in the next five years in order to survive the media business' currently Darwinian playing field. 

“I don’t think there’s anybody who believes that in five years, this company won’t either have bought other things or become part of something larger,” Greenfield told the Times. “It’s eat or be eaten time.”

Paramount finished March with 62 million subscription streaming subscribers across its Paramount Plus and Showtime brands, but the conglomerate still isn't making money on SVOD, Greenfield noted. 

The Times' Memorial Day Weekend story fit nicely with the triumphant debut of Paramount theatrical title Top Gun: Maverick, which debuted to a powerful $124 million at the domestic box office, the biggest opener of star Tom Cruise's career

As the Times noted, Redstone and top-level Paramount Global management met with bankers in January to discuss possible merger targets. 

A potential tie-up was discussed for Comcast, with which Paramount already partners with in Europe. 

In the end, Redstone and Bakish decided to go it alone. 

“In many respects we continue to be the underdog, and that’s OK,” Bakish said. “But I think as time goes on, people will continue to increasingly see that Paramount is powerful.” ■

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!