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ViacomCBS' (VIAC) BET to Cover Presidential Inauguration Live

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ViacomCBS (VIAC - Free Report) owned BET News recently announced that it will broadcast the live extended coverage of the 46th inauguration day events including the official swearing-in and inauguration speech of President-elect, Joe Biden on Wednesday, Jan 20 at 11:00 am ET/10c on BET.

The news special, BET NEWS Presents: Inauguration 2021, co-hosted by Soledad O’Brien and Marc Lamont Hill, will feature exclusive commentary and analysis provided by live guests, on-site reports and special interviews.

Markedly, ViacomCBS’ shares have gained 14.7% over the past year, outperforming the Zacks Film and Television Production and Distribution industry’s growth of 8%. The network’s comprehensive political coverage and post-election coverage in the United States have propelled traffic and engagement.

Additionally, portfolio strength across entertainment including cable network and streaming services and news content is expected to have aided viewership.

One Year Performance

BET Digital to Honor Black Women Accomplishments

This BET News broadcast special will also feature on-the-ground reports and taped packages spotlighting Kamala Harris and the impact of black voters in the 2020 election.

Additionally, BET Digital will commemorate the inauguration by launching a microsite,, to pay tribute to Vice President-elect Harris’ accomplishments while celebrating other change agents and achievers.

Markedly, BET Digital has collaborated with Unilever PLC (UL - Free Report) owned Dove as the launch partner on this new initiative.

Moreover, special interviews of notable black activists and political figures, including Congressman James Clyburn, Congresswoman Maxine Waters; National Action Network founder, Reverend Al Sharpton; NAACP president, Derrick Johnson; National Urban League president Marc Morial; and Black Voters Matter Fund co-founder, LaTosha Brown among others are slated to discuss the challenges facing the incoming administration.

Solid Content Portfolio Boosts Prospects

Higher investments in original content and focus on providing quality entertainment are expected to expand the audience base for brands like MTV, BET and Comedy Central.

Additionally, ViacomCBS’ recent expanded distribution deal with Disney’s (DIS - Free Report) Hulu + Live TV, which is currently the fifth-largest pay-TV provider in the United States with 4.1 million subscribers and a similar deal with Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google-owned YouTube TV, which currently has 3 million subscribers are game changing. Two of the top live TV streaming services available in the United States will now carry the ViacomCBS channel lineup.

Moreover, a solid portfolio of streaming services (both advertising and subscription-based offerings), including CBS All Access, Showtime OTT, Pluto TV, Noggin and BET+ is expected to remain a key growth driver in the near term.

Further, in September 2020, the company announced that it will rebrand CBS All Access as Paramount+ in early 2021. It will include content from ViacomCBS’ portfolio of broadcast, news, sports and entertainment brands as well as new original content, which will further widen its content catalog.

Additionally, CBS All Access added new product enhancements, including Kids Mode for better parental control and the flexibility to create up to six profiles per account. It also added approximately 800 episodes of kids programming to its content library, which already hosts more than 1000 episodes of original children’s programming.

ViacomCBS’ continuous efforts to build a strong portfolio of streaming services and expand its content portfolio with new offerings are expected to boost its growth prospects and aid customer acquisition in the near term.

However, this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company is suffering from coronavirus-led sluggishness in advertising demand and lowered budgets. Additionally, postponement of new movie releases in theaters and production delays in television and film programming are expected to negatively impact content-licensing revenues in the near term.

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