at ViacomCBS Inc.
US media companies said on Wednesday they plan to launch the subscription-based streaming service in more than 20 European regions next year, reaching 90 million homes.
The joint venture, called SkyShowtime, emerges as media companies are looking to expand their streaming services in the United States and internationally, where there are competitors such as Netflix. Inc.
and walt disney Co.
Disney+ has grown rapidly. Netflix saw a slowdown in subscriber growth in the second quarter, from 10 million in the same quarter last year to just 1.5 million new subscriptions. In the United States and Canada, Netflix has lost 400,000 subscribers.
SkyShowtime will combine content from NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures and Comcast with Peacock and UK-based Sky with Showtime, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and Paramount+ Originals from ViacomBS, among other brands. The streaming platform will provide over 10,000 hours of entertainment from these content providers.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and ViacomCBS president Shari Redstone met earlier this summer to discuss potential broadcast partnerships in international markets.
The Philadelphia cable giant announced last month that it would offer its one-year streaming platform Peacock to Sky’s 20 million subscribers across Europe at no additional cost. Comcast acquired Sky for $38.8 billion in 2018 to grow the company internationally.
Soon after, ViacomCBS announced a partnership with Comcast Sky to distribute its Paramount+ service in various European markets. The deal made Paramount+ available free of charge to customers of Comcast’s Sky Cinema service in Sky markets including the UK, Switzerland, Italy and Germany.
However, SkyShowtime will not overlap these markets. Instead, it will be available in European markets such as Spain, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Croatia and Albania.
The companies said the partnership, which involves equal investments and joint control of the two companies, will be based in London and will be led by its management team. Pricing and other details are yet to be announced.
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