CMCSAVIACShari Redstone, chairwoman of ViacomCBS and president of National Amusements, reacts as she celebrates her company’s merger at the Nasdaq Market site in New York, December 5, 2019.Brendan McDermid | Reuters
In the words of the great Tom Lehrer, “Who’s Next?“
Now that AT&T has decided to separate WarnerMedia and merge with Discovery, the rest of the media world — particularly the smaller players — face new pressure to make their countermoves.
Even before this deal, it was clear that Lionsgate, MGM, Sony Pictures and AMC Networks were probably too small to compete in a streaming world where success depends on a massive store of content and global reach.
But ViacomCBS and Comcast‘s NBCUniversal are much bigger, and probably assumed they had some time — at least a year — to see how many subscribers signed up for their streaming offerings, Paramount+ and Peacock.
“Within the next two years, it’s going to be put up or shut up for all of us,” said David Zaslav, Discovery’s CEO who will take the top job at the combined company, in December. “Can you show you’re scaling? Are you going to be a player in the U.S.? Are you going to be a player around the