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CBS与维亚康姆破镜重圆,Netlfix可能受到冲击

Aaron Pressman 2019年08月19日

由维亚康姆与CBS合并产生的新媒体巨头将在流媒体视频订阅以及内容授权谈判方面与Netflix展开角逐。

随着市场迅速整合以及向线上转移,媒体界的两个“老顽固”是否能够再度携手并实现增长?对于即将成为合并后新公司董事长的莎莉·雷德斯通和首席执行官鲍勃·巴克什来说,计划确实就是如此。雷德斯通目前是维亚康姆的掌门人。

维亚康姆最初由CBS创立,随后在1971年被其剥离。上周二,CBS同意按照原计划120亿美元的价格与自家之前的制片业务部门维亚康姆重新联姻。合并后的实体将接管所有业务,从CBS的广播网络一直到MTV和Showtime等有线频道,外加派拉蒙影视和图书出版商西蒙-舒斯特公司。

此举对Netflix等视频流媒体公司来说可能是个坏消息,因为合并后的新公司ViacomCBS就更没有理由继续向其互联网竞争对手提供《海军罪案调查处》(NCIS)和《国务卿夫人》(Madam Secretary)等流行老剧的授权。例如,最近完结的热门喜剧《生活大爆炸》(The Big Bang Theory)现在已经是CBS旗下All Access流媒体服务的独家节目。

然而与好莱坞的一众老牌相比,这个刚刚起步的娱乐巨头依然缺乏足够的规模与之抗衡;而与科技领域的新面孔相比,它并未与庞大的观众群建立直接联系。因此,雷德斯通可能不得不沿用其传统竞争对手在过去几年中不断收购的老套路,否则就得把自己卖给更大的买家。

CBS和维亚康姆上一次的重聚是在2000年,后于2006年在雷德斯通之父雷石东的主导下再次分道扬镳,自那之后,大多数竞争对手都已经发展壮大。康卡斯特在十年前收购了NBC环球,并在2016年将梦工厂揽入怀中。AT&T在2016年收购了时代华纳。迪士尼则已经收购了漫威影业和卢卡斯影业,去年又收购了21世纪福克斯公司的大部分资产。

虽然“掐线”(取消有限电视订阅——译者注)现象正在挤压有线电视和卫星电视服务等内容提供商的收入,但也让大型娱乐供应商获得了更多可用于交易压价的筹码,继而推动趋势向整合方向发展。

据《华尔街日报》(Wall Street Journal)报道,新合并的公司将向有线电视用户平均收取每人每月16.34美元的节目和频道费用,在业内排名第二,仅次于迪士尼的21.82美元。议价能力的增强可能会令平均收费下降,这个问题异常关键,因为高昂的收费让维亚康姆旗下的Nickelodeon和Comedy Central等频道承受着很大的压力。维亚康姆过去9个月的营收下降了1%,至94亿美元。

这两家公司指出,虽然双方共计占到了电视总收视率的22%,但收取的联播费和转播费仅占总额的11%,可供改进的空间是巨大的。

尽管如此,康卡斯特和AT&T现在都已经将发行和制作业务并入了一家公司,这就使其更有底气来对抗CBS和维亚康姆等节目供应商提高费用的要求。

此次合并还有助于新公司在新视频流媒体大战中更好地展开竞争。Netflix目前仍然在通过授权的方式从CBS和维亚康姆获取内容。自从Netflix崛起以来,好莱坞一直受到新数字播放服务的围攻。今年,仅Netflix一家就将花费150亿美元制作原创内容,而亚马逊Prime Video、Hulu和苹果等规模较小的流媒体服务也将各自投入数十亿美元。另外,康卡斯特、AT&T和迪士尼也都在组建自己的流媒体服务。CBS和维亚康姆表示,其合并原创内容制作预算将超过130亿美元。

CBS正试图以6美元的包月价推广其流媒体服务CBS All Access,但效果并不是很理想。虽然All Access以《星际迷航》(Star Trek吉林快3)系列以卖点,但其有吸引力的节目似乎并不多,因此难以俘获大量的观众群。这项服务目前的订阅人数约为800万,而Netflix的订阅用户已经超过1.5亿人。与竞争对手苹果和AT&T不同的是,CBS自身并未与庞大的观众群建立直接联系。维亚康姆旗下基于广告的免费服务Pluto TV在今年7月公布的数据显示,其月度活跃用户人数达到了1800万。(财富中文网)

译者:艾伦

审校:夏林

吉林快3Can two old fogies of the media landscape reunite and grow, as the market rapidly consolidates and moves online? That’s the plan of the soon-to-be chair of a combined CBS and Viacom, Shari Redstone and her CEO Bob Bakish, who currently heads Viacom.

CBS, which first created and spun off Viacom in 1971, agreed on last Tuesday to reunite with with its former production unit in a planned $12 billion deal. The combined entity will control everything from the CBS broadcast network to cable channels like MTV and Showtime, plus the Paramount film and TV studio and book publisher Simon & Schuster.

The move is likely bad news for video streamers like Netflix, as the combined ViacomCBS, as the new company will call itself, will have less incentive than ever to continue licensing its popular older shows like NCIS and Madam Secretary to its Internet rival. For example, recently-completed hit comedy The Big Bang Theory is already an exclusive on CBS’s All Access streaming service.

But the incipient entertainment giant probably still won’t have the scale to catch up to its usual Hollywood rivals, or the direct connections to a big audience to rival its new, tech industry competitors. Redstone will probably have to pull off a few more deals, like its traditional rivals have in years past, or face selling out to an even bigger buyer.

吉林快3Since CBS and Viacom last reunited in 2000 and broke up again in 2006 under Redstone’s father Sumner, most of its competitors have bulked up。 Comcast bought NBCUniversal a decade ago and added Dreamworks in 2016。 AT&T bought Time Warner in 2016。 And Disney, which had already bought Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm, added most of 21st Century Fox last year。

吉林快3While cord cutting is squeezing the revenue of distributors like cable and satellite TV services, bigger entertainment suppliers have more leverage to extract better deals, driving the trend towards consolidation.

Combined, CBS and Viacom collect an average of $16.34 per month per cable subscriber for their programming and channels, which would rank second in the industry behind only Disney, at $21.82 per month, the Wall Street Journal reports. Greater bargaining power could improve that average, a key issue as Viacom’s fees for its channels such as Nickelodeon and Comedy Central have been particularly under pressure. Viacom’s revenue for the past nine months fell 1% to $9.4 billion.

The companies note that while they together account for 22% total TV viewership, they collect only 11% of all affiliates and retransmission fees, leaving plenty of room for improvement.

Still, Comcast and AT&T each now combine distribution and production in a single company, giving them the ability to better resist demand for higher fees from programming suppliers like CBS and Viacom.

The merger could also help the combined company compete better in the new video streaming wars. Since the rise of Netflix, which still licenses content from both CBS and Viacom, Hollywood has been under siege from new digital players. Netflix alone will spend $15 billion this year developing original content, while smaller streaming services including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Apple will each spend billions more. And Comcast, AT&T, and Disney are also all developing their own streaming services. CBS and Viacom say their combined budget for generating originals will top $13 billion.

CBS has had limited success trying to sell its own streaming service, CBS All Access, for $6 a month. Though it’s headlined by the Star Trek franchise, All Access doesn’t seem to have enough attractive shows to lure a major audience. The service has about 8 million subscribers, versus over 150 million for Netflix. And CBS, unlike rivals Apple and AT&T, doesn’t have a direct connection to a big audience on its own. Viacom’s free, ad-based Pluto TV reported 18 million monthly active users in July.

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