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ViacomCBS (VIAC) Buys Majority Stake in Disney Properties

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ViacomCBS recently announced that ViacomCBS Networks International (“VCNI”) completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Fox TeleColombia and Estudios TeleMexico from The Walt Disney Company (DIS - Free Report) . The terms of the transactions have not been disclosed.

The acquisition is anticipated to enhance ViacomCBS’ capabilities to produce Spanish-language content. It will also help ViacomCBS International Studios (“VIS”) to capitalize on significant content demand on its global streaming platforms such as Pluto Tv and Paramount+.

VIS will operate Fox TeleColombia and Estudios TeleMexico as a collaborative partnership with the latter’s founding family.

The acquisition provides VCNI with complete access to the studio operations of FoxColombia and Estudios TeleMexico’s in Mexico and Colombia, which is expected to bolster the production capabilities of ViacomCBS.

It will also enable ViacomCBS to access FoxColombia’s and Estudios TeleMexico’s robust content portfolio, with various genres and including popular dramas, movies and documentaries. The content will boost ViacomCBS’s streaming platforms Pluto TV and Paramount+ along with its linear networks all around the globe.

The acquisition adds to VCNI’s growing portfolio in Latin America. In September 2021, VCNI acquired Chilevision from Warner Media. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition was part of ViacomCBS’s plans to expand its reach and profitability in Latin America.

Apart from international expansions, the rapid adoption of Paramount+ bodes well for ViacomCBS.

In the streaming space, Paramount+ is facing stiff competition from players like Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) , Disney’s Disney+ and Peacock from Comcast (CMCSA - Free Report) division NBCUniversal.

ViacomCBS’ shares have underperformed Netflix and Comcast on a year-to-date basis. The stock has declined 10.8% year to date against Netflix’s rise of 21.7%. Comcast’s and Disney’s shares have declined 1% and 16.4% year to date, respectively.

 

Nevertheless, the growing popularity of Disney+ has been driving growth prospects of Disney. Disney+’s strong content portfolio bodes well for the company.

Comcast is benefiting from an increasing broadband subscriber base and a growing momentum in the wireless business. Additionally, its streaming service Peacock gained significant traction amid the coronavirus-led increased media consumption. Disney’s focus on Live Sports is anticipated to boost growth in the long run.

However, Netflix is still dominating the streaming market. In third-quarter 2021, Netflix added 4.38 million paid subscribers globally compared with 2.2 million in the year-ago quarter and beat its guidance of 3.5 million paid-subscriber addition. Latin America’s (LATAM) paid subscriber base rose 7.3% from the year-ago quarter’s levels to 38.9 million. The company added 0.3 million paid subscribers, up 28.9% year over year.

Paramount+ faces a tough challenge in the streaming space for market share. Nevertheless, a robust content portfolio and a strong pipeline of new releases are expected to boost Paramount+’s competitive prowess. ViacomCBS added 4.3 million subscribers in the third quarter, raising the number of global streaming subscribers to around 47 million.

ViacomCBS currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.


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