ViacomCBS Inc. is an American multinational mass media conglomerate based in New York City. The corporation was formed via the merger of CBS Corporation and the second incarnation of Viacom on December 4, 2019, which were created from the split of the first Viacom in 2005. The company has interests in film, television, publishing and digital media.
The company's main assets include the Paramount Pictures film studio, CBS Entertainment Group (consisting of CBS-branded properties including the namesake CBS network, CBS Television Studios, CBS Television Stations, CBS Interactive and a 50% interest in The CW), domestic networks (consisting of U.S.-based basic and premium-tier cable television networks including MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, Comedy Central and Showtime), international networks (consisting of international versions of domestic ViacomCBS networks as well as region-specific networks including Channel 5 in the UK, Network 10 in Australia and Telefe in Argentina), Global Distribution Group (consisting of CBS Television Distribution and CBS Studios International) and publishing company Simon & Schuster.
Headquartered at One Astor Plaza in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, the company operates approximately over 170 networks and reaches approximately 700 million subscribers in approximately 160 countries.
In 1952, CBS formed CBS Films, a division which handled syndication rights for CBS’ library of television series. This division was renamed CBS Enterprises Inc. in January 1968, and then renamed again to Viacom in 1970. In 1971, this syndication division was spun off amid new FCC rules forbidding television networks from owning syndication companies (the rules were later repealed). In 1986, Viacom was acquired by its present owner, the theater operator company National Amusements. In 1999, Viacom made its biggest acquisition to date by announcing plans to merge with its former parent CBS Corporation (the renamed Westinghouse Electric Corporation, which had merged with CBS in 1995). The merger was completed in 2000, resulting in CBS reuniting with its former syndication division. On January 3, 2006, Viacom was split into two companies: CBS Corporation, the former's corporate successor and the spun-off Viacom company.