Despite an expected sharp decline in advertising
revenues -- 20% in the first quarter -- ViacomCBS surprisingly added YouTube TV to its list of virtual pay TV providers -- for the 14 cable networks formerly associated
with Viacom. “This brings ViacomCBS closer to an equivalent distribution footprint as its peers, although it is still less represented on or absent from some important
services, notably Hulu Live,” says Todd Juenger, media analyst of Bernstein Research. He added: “We certainly expect this unexpected news to reset the
stock at a new, higher level. ” ViacomCBS’s stock was up 14% to $16. 95 in mid-day Thursday trading. With the growth of virtual pay TV providers, many
cable-only TV networks groups could initially only get deals with so-called “skinny bundles” of TV networks -- less expensive services that mostly did not include big TV broadcast
networks, ones with expensive sports programming.
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