Paramount CEO dismisses $3bn Showtime bid, says ‘no sense in selling anywhere near that price’

Bob Bakish

Paramount turned down a bid of around $3bn for Showtime because it would not have made sense to sell at “anywhere near that price”, according to Bob Bakish.

The Paramount Global CEO was speaking at Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media & Telecom Conference and used the event to take the unusual step of addressing the rumoured approach for Showtime from former CEO David Nevins.

Bakish confirmed Paramount had received an unsolicited bid for Showtime but said it “wasn’t that interesting” to the company.


“If you compare that price – and it’s been rumored in the press, so I’m not going to repeat it – to our internal business plan, [then] the reality is it has far more value creating when you take the base earnings and the synergies [into account], and … the way it affects the streaming path to profitability.”

He added: “It just didn’t make sense to divest the asset at anywhere near that price.”

Instead of selling the asset, Paramount chose to integrate the Showtime brand into Paramount+ across both streaming and linear services in the US, cancelling three dramas as a result of the move.

It will now be rebranded as Paramount+ with Showtime, in a move that Bakish said at the time would drive “stronger alignment across our domestic and international Paramount+ offerings” and “unlock operational efficiencies and financial benefits across our broader portfolio.”

Paramount said the move would allow it to put more resources into building out the Showtime brand and turning its shows into global hit franchises, with the company quickly acting on this by dropping titles such as horror series Let The Right One In and crime drama American Gigolo.

In their place, it has put spin-offs into development around existing popular titles including Dexter and Billions. Read more about the move here.

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