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Nine’s Stan Facing Another Big Content Loss, Viacom CBS To Launch Showtime In OZ

Stan is facing another big loss with ViacomCBS set to strip key shows from their streaming network ahead of the launch of a new streaming service in Australia, the Nine Entertainment owned service recently lost Disney and HBO Content which went to Foxtel.

Overnight, Viacom CBS who own Showtime and Network 10 reported a 12% slump in sales during the last quarter as the coronavirus pandemic sent ad sales down 27 percent.

Company executives have confirmed that they are set to launch a new platform in Australia and that Showtime content which includes Billions and is currently a key Stan show will run on their new streaming service.

Network Ten-owner ViacomCBS said that they will launch their new streaming service up against Stan in early 2021 combining content from across the merged US giant’s portfolio which Nine Entertainment currently have access to.

ViacomCBS chief executive Bob Bakish revealed his “super-sized” streaming plan for international markets overnight which will include the rebranding of its existing service in Australia – 10 All Access, which launched in December 2018.

“If you want to just compare it at a high level to what we’re doing in the US, it will be a much more entertainment-focused product. It doesn’t really have a sports – a material sports lane to it,” Mr Bakish told investors.

“And it will have an output deal from Showtime because we don’t operate Showtime networks outside the United States. We will be rolling it in multiple markets next year, including Australia, Latin America and the Nordics. You’ll probably see some press about that. But, we’re really excited about the opportunity.”

A Viacom CBS spokeswoman declined to comment on ViacomCBS’s relationship with Stan with regards to Showtime, or whether it was still talking with the Nine-owned streaming service.

It’s also tipped that Stan could lose access to Paramount content , including TV and films, and a separate CBS library deal.

Stan had hoped to get access to HBO content from Foxtel but WarnerMedia chose the bigger operation owned by arch rival News Corp.

Nine chief executive Hugh Marks previously said no single output deal would be the make or break for Stan.

Mr Bakish said the launch is expected in early 2021, exact details and pricing will vary by market.

“But broadly speaking, the new service will feature exclusive first-run premier. So we’re going to get those from the slate we’re using with CBS All Access in the US, from Showtime and from Viacom International Studios. And alongside that, we’ll use Paramount movies, box sets from CBS and Viacom media networks,” he said.

ChannelNews tipped this news two months ago.

The move to strip Stan of shows comes as Viacom CBS report that their streaming business, which saw revenues rise 25 percent as more consumers hibernated at home due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Net income for the three months ending in June fell 51 percent to $478 million at the US network.

Chief executive Bob Bakish on Thursday highlighted the “sequential improvement” of the pandemic-weary ad market since it hit bottom in April. He said June sales were “strong,” and told analysts that the worst appears to be over. “We expect the second quarter to be the bottom in terms of year-over-year decline,” he said.

The company said streaming subscribers across its services, Showtime, CBS All Access and PlutoTV, hit 16.2 million in the period ended June 30, up from 13.5 million, a year ago. Bakish cited Showtime original series “Homeland,” “Billions” and “The Chi” for the subscriber uptick.

Subscriptions helped boost revenue 25 percent to $489 million in the quarter. The firm expects subscribers to reach 18 million by the end of 2020.

Revenue at ViacomCBS’ s film division, including Paramount Pictures, fell 26 percent to $647 million as box office sales dried up due to the closure of movie theatres.

Elsewhere, at the company’s TV entertainment arm, which includes the CBS network, revenue declined 22 percent, due to slumping ad sales and lower content licensing revenue.

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