Comcast Corp. Chief Executive Brian Roberts met with ViacomCBS Inc. Chairman Shari Redstone in recent weeks to discuss a potential streaming partnership for international markets, according to people familiar with the matter, a sign the media companies see opportunities to join forces.
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During the meeting, which was held around the end of June in New York, and which also included ViacomCBS CEO Robert Bakish, the executives discussed a variety of possible business partnerships that would allow the companies to enter non-U.S. markets together, the people said.
The partnership talks come as both Comcast and ViacomCBS are preparing to expand their streaming services in international markets.
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In May, ViacomCBS said its Paramount+ service would be available in 45 markets by 2022. In April, Roberts said that Comcast was looking to strike partnerships with local programmers and distributors in overseas markets to boost Peacock, the service launched by its NBCUniversal division. Comcast’s Sky PLC unit in Europe also has a streaming operation.
Media companies across the industry are looking for ways to bolster their streaming services to better compete with giants such as Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co.’s Disney+. Bundling services together through commercial partnerships is one option.