Viacom CEO Bob Bakish said that his company has reached a deal with Norwegian telecom Telenor for mobile streaming rights to the company’s Paramount+ product.
Paramount+, a combination of Paramount Pictures first-window movies and Viacom television networks, had already launched in Europe last year as a product available on pay-TV set-top boxes.
“It’s another example of the potential for IP and video assets to move to the mobile space, and remember that mobile distribution is the most ubiquitous distribution on the planet by far,” said Bakish, speaking during a Deutsche Bank investor conference. He added that there’s at least 6 billion mobile handsets in the world.
The new deal comes after Viacom last month set a mobile streaming deal in Latin American with Telefonica. Beginning in the first half of 2018, Movistar Play will offer live feeds of MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central and Paramount Channel. Viacom said it’s the first live TV mobile streaming deal for Telefonica.
In addition to international mobile streaming deals, Viacom is also looking at setting similar deals in the U.S. Bakish said that Viacom is currently in talks with three U.S. mobile operators.
Speaking last week at a Morgan Stanley investor conference, Bakish said a U.S. deal could happen this year.
“We’re also in a very interesting conversation here in the U.S. right now about bringing our brands to mobile and I believe that will happen in fiscal ’18 as well,” said Bakish.
Viacom is also prepping its own direct-to-consumer streaming service, which the company says will leverage its library content and be complementary, not competitive, to traditional pay TV services.
“Later in the year, you’ll hear about a product that leverages those assets which includes over 10,000 hours of library product that we’re going to implement on a direct-to-consumer basis in a differentiated way that we believe leverages not only our library assets but our ad sales capabilities. And it’s complementary to what we’re doing in the MVPD space,” Bakish said. “I realize that sounds kind of cryptic but it’s an opportunity we’re very excited about and you’ll hear more about it later in the year.”