Paramount in talks with media companies to merge streaming platform, CNBC reports

(Reuters) -Paramount Global is holding talks with other media companies about merging its streaming platform with another, CNBC reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Fears of market saturation have forced media companies to bundle their streaming businesses and offer discounted rates to lure customers who are wary of signing up and paying for numerous individual services.

Media giant Paramount Global’s leadership is in discussions with other media and tech companies to determine a viable structure where Paramount+ can be merged with another streaming entity and potentially co-owned, the report said.

Warner Bros Discovery is one of the companies that has expressed an interest in a joint venture, merging its Max and Paramount+, the report added.

Paramount and Warner declined to comment on the report.

Several media executives said privately they expect Comcast’s Peacock, Paramount+, Max and Walt Disney to ultimately team up their programming within one application to alleviate confusion and compete with streaming leader Netflix, the report said.

It added that while a structure for a hypothetical joint venture between Paramount and Warner has not been discussed in detail, ownership likely would not be a 50-50 split given the existing nature of the streaming assets and their finances.

Paramount’s streaming service has more than 71 million subscribers, far less than Netflix’s 269.60 million and Warner’s 99.6 million.

Last month, Reuters reported that Paramount co-CEO said the company will focus on its new plan to transform its streaming business, reduce costs and divest some assets to help pay down debt, a day after controlling shareholder Shari Redstone opted to end deal talks with Skydance Media for Paramount Global.

(Reporting by Harshita Mary Varghese; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)