What are Paramount’s most valuable assets it brings to a WBD merger

23 December, 2023

Image: Yellowstone, Paramount

This week news broke that Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount were holding talks about a potential merger.  While it is far from certain that this merger will actually materialize (and initial moves from the market following the news point to a negative reaction from investors) here are a few observations about what a Paramount/Warner Bros Discovery merger could mean for the entertainment landscape in the US.

In terms of corporate control over TV series, a combination of Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount would catapult the new conglomerate into a leading position ahead of Disney, who has been a steady leader in this measure.  Interestingly, it was the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery that moved the new company into second place ahead of Paramount last year.


Looking into the Paramount portfolio of channels and platforms, CBS is clearly the jewel in Paramount’s crown. Four percent of demand for all shows in the US in November was for a CBS series. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone familiar with the immense popularity of CBS series like Criminal Minds.

Platforms like Netflix have tapped into the demand for CBS content by licensing shows like NCIS which, per Netflix’s Engagement Report, accounted for over 310 million hours viewed across 15 seasons from January to June this year. A merged Paramount/WBD would control the CBS arsenal of content and could continue licensing these shows for a lucrative fee, sell the catalog to a willing player like Netflix, or use the shows to bolster its own streaming platforms.


After CBS, content from Nickelodeon made up the second largest share of demand across Paramount channels. 2.5% of demand for all series in the US in November was for a Nickelodeon show. The value of Nickelodeon lies not just in the scale of demand for its content, but in the fact that the Nickelodeon brand makes Paramount a leader when it comes to children’s content. A platform like Apple TV+ that has been trying to expand its slate of kids’ content could be a natural fit for Nickelodeon’s catalog. Conversely, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery (which has a sizable share of demand for children’s content through Cartoon Network) could absorb Nickelodeon to become completely dominant when it comes to children’s programming.

And beyond individual channels, Paramount is home to some of the most valuable TV franchises including Star Trek (built up over many years) and the more recent Sheridan-verse.  In 2022, nearly a third of demand for Paramount+ originals was for a show from the Star Trek franchise. Peacock is currently reaping the rewards from licensing Yellowstone before the franchise ballooned with new series on Paramount+.

In short, there should be plenty of parties interested in Paramount’s assets, if not as a whole package, then split into parts that suit each company’s unique needs.

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