Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: ViacomCBS Inc

Can Paramount+ Succeed? One Producer Hopes to Make It So.

Can Paramount+ Succeed? One Producer Hopes to Make It So.

Technology
Like so many other writer-directors, Alex Kurtzman grew up worshiping film.But he is adaptable — and in the streaming era, that is a very lucrative trait.Mr. Kurtzman, the onetime writer of the “Transformers” movies and the director of the 2017 film “The Mummy,” recently renegotiated his deal at CBS Studios into one of the richest there. Under the $160 million, five-and-a-half-year agreement, he will continue to shepherd the growing “Star Trek” television universe for ViacomCBS’s Paramount+ streaming platform.He will also create shows, including a limited series based on “The Man Who Fell to Earth,” which he will direct for Showtime, and the long-awaited adaptation of Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.” That limited series is like...
How ViacomCBS’s Content Deals Cost U.S. Taxpayers $4 Billion

How ViacomCBS’s Content Deals Cost U.S. Taxpayers $4 Billion

Business
Dismissed by critics and devoured by fans, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” was the top box office film in 2014, bringing in $1.1 billion, with more than three-quarters of those dollars coming from overseas.ViacomCBS’s Paramount Pictures, which distributed the computer-animated action-fest, saved much of that money by licensing the international rights through a complex strategy designed to avoid paying U.S. taxes, according to a study published on Tuesday by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations, a nonprofit group funded in part by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.It is common practice for multinational corporations to take advantage of tax shelters. The report offers a rare look at how one company has pulled it off.ViacomCBS, a media giant that came into being after...
SpongeBob, ‘Star Trek’ and sports drive subscriptions to Paramount+.

SpongeBob, ‘Star Trek’ and sports drive subscriptions to Paramount+.

Technology
SpongeBob, “Star Trek” and the Super Bowl have attracted new subscribers to ViacomCBS’s streaming platforms.The company, led by Shari Redstone, rebranded its long-running streaming service as Paramount+ in March, while also providing it with a slew of new shows, films and sports programming. The company also added content to Pluto, its free streaming service.The stronger commitment to digital media has created a revenue powerhouse, with streaming sales jumping 65 percent to $816 million in the first quarter, the company reported Thursday. ViacomCBS said it added 6 million new streaming subscribers to both Paramount+ and a smaller streaming service, Showtime, bringing the total to 36 million.The company doesn’t disclose how many customers are coming to each platform, but the majority have b...
CBS News President Prepares Exit as Broadcast News Is in Flux

CBS News President Prepares Exit as Broadcast News Is in Flux

Business
The first woman to lead CBS News, Susan Zirinsky, is expected to announce that she is stepping down from the presidency of the network’s news division, possibly as soon as this week, a person with knowledge of the plan said on Tuesday.Ms. Zirinsky, 69, was appointed in January 2019 to right a battered ship. At the time, CBS was confronting several key executive departures and unsavory revelations about its news division as a wider reckoning on workplace misconduct roiled the media industry.CBS declined to comment. Ms. Zirinsky is expected to sign a production deal with the network’s parent company, ViacomCBS, to work on broadcast, cable and streaming programs, according to the person with knowledge of the details of her departure.ABC News is also set to take on a new leader. Its previous p...
Disney and ad-tech firms agree to privacy changes for children’s apps.

Disney and ad-tech firms agree to privacy changes for children’s apps.

Technology
In legal settlements that could reshape the children’s app market, Disney, Viacom and 10 advertising technology firms have agreed to remove certain advertising software from children’s apps to address accusations that they violated the privacy of millions of youngsters.The agreements resolve three related class-action cases involving some of the largest ad-tech companies — including Twitter’s MoPub — and some of the most popular children’s apps — including “Subway Surfers,” an animated game from Denmark that users worldwide have installed more than 1.5 billion times, according to Sensor Tower, an app research firm.The lawsuits accused the companies of placing tracking software in popular children’s gaming apps without parents’ knowledge or consent, in violation of state privacy and fair bu...
He Built a $10 Billion Investment Firm. It Fell Apart in Days.

He Built a $10 Billion Investment Firm. It Fell Apart in Days.

Business
Until recently, Bill Hwang sat atop one of the biggest — and perhaps least known — fortunes on Wall Street. Then his luck ran out.Mr. Hwang, a 57-year-old veteran investor, managed $10 billion through his private investment firm, Archegos Capital Management. He borrowed billions of dollars from Wall Street banks to build enormous positions in a few American and Chinese stocks. By mid-March, Mr. Hwang was the financial force behind $20 billion in shares of ViacomCBS, effectively making him the media company’s single largest institutional shareholder. But few knew about his total exposure, since the shares were mostly held through complex financial instruments, called derivatives, created by the banks.That changed in late March, after shares of ViacomCBS fell precipitously and the lenders de...
Banks Face Billions in Losses as a Bet on ViacomCBS and Other Stocks Goes Awry

Banks Face Billions in Losses as a Bet on ViacomCBS and Other Stocks Goes Awry

Business
Mr. Hwang entered a guilty plea to wire fraud on behalf of Tiger Asia and paid millions of dollars in fines while also accepting a five-year ban on managing public money as a result of the settlement with the S.E.C. He reorganized the firm as a family office, meaning it was no longer managing outside money, and renamed it Archegos Capital Management; archegos is a Greek word meaning leader or founding father, and is used in the Bible to refer to Jesus.“It’s not all about money, but it’s about long term,” Mr. Hwang said in a 2018 video in which he discussed his faith and work. “God certainly has a long-term view.”According to four people familiar with the matter, Mr. Hwang had recently built large holdings in a small number of stocks, including ViacomCBS and Discovery, which also operates t...