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Viacom Inc.

legal form Corporation
ISIN US92553P1021 (A)
US92553P2011 (B)
founding December 31, 2005
resolution 04 December 2019
Reason for dissolution Merger with CBS Corporation into ViacomCBS Inc.
Seat New York City , New York , United States
United StatesUnited States 
management Robert Bakish
(President and CEO )
Number of employees 10,750
sales 13,263,000,000 USD
Branch media
As of September 30, 2017

Viacom main building in New York City
Logo of the "old" Viacom

Viacom Inc. was an American media group based in New York City with various global holdings in cable and satellite television companies ( MTV Networks and BET), video game manufacturers ( Sega of America ) and film productions and distributors ( Paramount Pictures , Dreamworks ).

Viacom Inc. was created on December 31, 2005 by splitting the old Viacom group into CBS Corporation and (new) Viacom. Legally, the CBS Corporation is the former Viacom, whose name has been changed. The "new" Viacom created by a spin-off , on the other hand, is not legally the successor company of the old Viacom, but a new company to which the company parts - essentially MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures - were transferred.

The company was headed by Philippe P. Dauman from 2006 to 2016 , and Robert Bakish has been CEO since December 2016. Sumner Redstone is the founder and majority shareholder of Viacom through National Amusements .

On December 4, 2019, Viacom Inc. and CBS Corporation announced the launch of the joint venture. Viacom Inc. and CBS Corporation became ViacomCBS Inc.


In March 2005, the former Viacom (now CBS Corporation) announced that it had plans to split into two public companies. In addition to a stagnant share price, the company suffered from the rivalry between Les Moonves and Tom Freston, long-time leaders of CBS and MTV Networks. After Mel Karmazin left in 2004, Sumner Redstone shared the responsibilities of chairman and head of operations between Moonves and Freston as managing director and chairman of the board. Redstone should be retiring soon, and a split would be a good solution to replace him.

The division was approved by Viacoms management on June 14, 2005 and approved on December 31, 2005, effectively overriding the 1999 Viacom / CBS merger. The original Viacom group changed its name to CBS Corporation and is run by Moonves. It now includes Viacom's low growth businesses, namely CBS , UPN , CBS Radio, Simon & Schuster , Paramount Parks, Viacom Outdoor, Showtime, and most television production companies. These, some analysts say, slowed the growth of MTV Networks' cable businesses. The division was carried out in such a way that the CBS Corporation today includes the corporate divisions that once belonged to the old Viacom.

The new company, today's Viacom, was also spun off and is now managed by Freston. This includes the MTV Networks, BET Networks, the Paramount film studios and the home entertainment businesses of Paramount Pictures. These ventures are categorized as high growth (especially MTV Networks and BET Networks) and if these were split up into separate companies, that would bring in additional capital for future purchases and expansion. Sumner Redstone still holds 71% of the voting shares and is the managing director of both companies.

In June 2005 Viacom announced it had bought Neopets , a virtual pet website. In December 2005 Viacom announced it would buy Dreamworks . It appears that Dreamworks 'film and television studios, but not the Dreamworks archives, will remain in the possession of Viacom even though CBS has bought Paramounts' own television studio.

In 2007 Viacom initiated a lawsuit against YouTube because the video portal had not taken sufficient action against unauthorized videos. In July 2008 Viacom won a court case against YouTube in which the company requested data on the viewing habits of all YouTube users.

In March 2010, allegations were made by YouTube that Viacom was even using intermediaries to upload videos that had been modified to look like illegal recordings. According to the YouTube chief legal officer, some of the videos that Viacom is suing YouTube for damages for $ 1 billion in damages are also posted by Viacom itself.

In 2011 the company was restructured on a large scale. In the future, the field of activity will be divided into two major areas: Viacom International Media Networks (television stations and internet platforms) and Paramount Pictures (films). At the same time, redundancies of employees became known.

In January 2019 Viacom took over the US divisional streaming service Pluto TV for 340 million US dollars. Since the end of 2018, attempts have been made to establish the brand as a free, advertising-financed offer on the portals of streaming providers in Europe, primarily in the United Kingdom and Germany via Amazon Prime and Sky Ticket. Pluto TV follows a similar concept to the previously failed Quazer from ProSiebenSat.1 Media , which offered a few curated special-interest channels and archive content, such as purchased documentaries or in-house productions, in linear distribution. Quazer was discontinued in 2017 due to a lack of reach and the trademark rights - with the participation of ProSiebenSat1 Media SE - sold to Pluto TV. Access or user numbers for Pluto TV for Europe are currently not known.

On August 13, 2019, CBS Corporation and Viacom announced their merger. The combined company would be called ViacomCBS , with Shari Redstone serving as chairman.

Company owned by Viacom

Radio stations and networks

  • CBS Radio (formerly Infinity Broadcasting Corporation Ḡ)
  • Metro Networks


  • MTVi Group
  • CBS Internet Group
  • (25%)
  • Nickelodeon Online
  • Neopets
  • Pluto TV

Film production and distribution


  • Viacom Consumer Products
  • Infinity Outdoor (Billboards)
  • Famous Music

Cinema chains

  • Paramount Theater
  • Famous Players Canada


TV channels and networks

Television production and distribution

  • Paramount Television
  • Spelling Entertainment Group (80%)
  • Big Ticket Television
  • Viacom Productions
  • King World Productions


See also

Web links

Commons : ViacomCBS  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Viacom 2017 Form 10-K Report , accessed December 5, 2017.
  2. Zeit Online : Youtube: Viacom has secretly uploaded videos ( memento of March 29, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) from March 19, 2010. Viacom's lawsuit against Google in June 2010 failed for the time being.
  3. Katie Feola: Layoffs at Viacom: Cuts hitting across company on from September 22, 2011 (accessed November 1, 2011)
  4. David Hein: Pluto TV cooperates with Amazon and expands its offering to include MTV content , Horizont. May 29, 2019. Accessed June 21, 2019. 
  5. ProSiebenSat.1 invests in OTT service Pluto TV. Retrieved October 13, 2016 .
  6. Torsten Zarges: Linear and ad-financed: US streamer Pluto TV starts with German program , DWDL. November 29, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2019. 
  7. Janko Roettgers : Viacom Has Acquired Pluto TV streaming service for $ 340 Million (s) . January 22, 2019. Accessed January 23, 2019. 
  8. Drew Angerer: CBS and Viacom merge into billion dollar deal . In: August 14, 2019, accessed April 7, 2020 .