Wednesday, August 05, 2020

CBS All Access Adds Raft of New Nickelodeon Titles to Service

CBS All Access, ViacomCBS’ soon-to-be-rebranded subscription video on demand and live-streaming service, has today (Thursday, July 30) added 11 new Nickelodeon titled to the service!


The new titles are:

  • SpongeBob SquarePants (seasons 1-11)
  • Henry Danger (seasons 1-3)
  • The Loud House (seasons 1 & 2)
  • The Thundermans (seasons 1-4)
  • ALVINNN!!! and The Chipmunks (seasons 1 & 2)
  • Game Shakers (seasons 1-3)
  • Rugrats (seasons 1-9)
  • CatDog (seasons 1-3)
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show (seasons 1-4)
  • Big Time Rush (seasons 1-4)
  • The Fairly OddParents (seasons 1-10)

The 11 new titles join previously added titled Danny Phantom, Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra.

Additionally, the the streaming service has added Nickelodeon Movies' Charlotte's Web (2016). The film joins previously added Harriet The Spy, The Adventures of Tintin, Mad Hot Ballroom, and Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Rugrats Go Wild, which was added earlier this year, has been taken off.

The news comes as ViacomCBS announces plans to debut Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years, Nickelodeon's brand-new animated spinoff of the beloved hit series SpongeBob SquarePants during early 2021.

ViacomCBS has also revealed that, with CBS All Access expanding its slate, Nickelodeon will be keeping Noggin, its preschool application, operational because of its unique interactive functionality and access to games. The video content on Noggin, which includes popular Nickelodeon kids programming such as Dora the Explorer and Paw Patrol, will eventually move to the rebranded All Access, said Marc DeBevoise, ViacomCBS’s chief digital officer.

Below is ViacomCBS' official press release announcing the news:

ViacomCBS Debuts Expanded and Enhanced CBS All Access

More Than 3,500 Episodes Now Available from BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Smithsonian Channel, Bringing CBS All Access to More than 20,000 Episodes and Movies in Total

CBS All Access’ Exclusive Original Series Slate to Add New Nickelodeon-Produced “SpongeBob SquarePants” Children’s Series “Kamp Koral” in 2021

Content Joins Exclusive Originals, Iconic Paramount Movies, Live Sports, News and the Largest Catalog of America’s Most-Watched Network, CBS

New User Interface Features Enhanced Personalization and Discovery, Plus Central Hubs for ViacomCBS Brands on All Major Device Platforms

Major Step Towards Transforming CBS All Access into a Diversified Super Service, with Rebranding Coming in Early 2021

NEW YORK--July 30--ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC, VIACA) today announced a significant expansion of CBS All Access, ViacomCBS’ subscription video on demand and live-streaming service, in a major step toward transforming CBS All Access into a diversified super service for the company. More than 3,500 episodes across ViacomCBS’ leading portfolio of entertainment brands will now be available on CBS All Access, including popular series from BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Smithsonian Channel and more, further diversifying the range of content on the service and expanding its appeal to a broader range of audiences.


In addition, CBS All Access announced plans for “Kamp Koral,” a new original children’s series premiering in 2021, and the first spinoff from one of ViacomCBS’ biggest global franchises ever, Nickelodeon’s SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS. As previously announced, CBS All Access will also be the exclusive home to THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE ON THE RUN in early 2021.

The service also began rolling out a new user interface across all major device platforms today with enhanced personalization and discovery features, including advanced recommendations, curated homepages, new content categories and central hubs for ViacomCBS’ brands to seamlessly find and explore content by brand.

“Today marks the beginning of an exciting evolution of CBS All Access into the subscription streaming home for ViacomCBS and a preview of what’s to come,” said Marc DeBevoise, Chief Digital Officer, ViacomCBS and President & Chief Executive Officer, ViacomCBS Digital. “As the first Network to market with a branded direct-to-consumer service more than five years ago, we have the advantage and experience of building it from the ground up, establishing distribution points across all major platforms, creating a service with high user engagement and low churn, and crafting a robust slate of exclusive originals from which we continue to build. By bringing the valuable IP and creative capabilities from across ViacomCBS together in one product, we will deliver to consumers a compelling and differentiated service with something for everyone across news, live sports and on-demand entertainment in every genre.”

In the months to come, CBS All Access will continue to grow its content offering to include more than 30,000 episodes and movies from ViacomCBS’ vast library of hit series and iconic movies, as well as develop new exclusive originals from ViacomCBS’ entertainment brands, Paramount Pictures and Paramount Television Studios. The additional programming will join a robust catalog that spans every demographic and content category, from animation to sci-fi, comedy, drama, procedurals, reality and children’s programming. In addition to its vast library and original content, the new service will have unrivaled live offerings, spanning national and local news, tentpole events and a critical mass of live sports – from golf to football to basketball, plus exclusive streaming rights for major sports properties, including some of the world’s biggest and most popular soccer leagues.

ViacomCBS will debut the full and rebranded service in early 2021.

Popular ViacomCBS content added to CBS All Access includes:

  • BET: All seasons of “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” “Hit the Floor,” plus all prior seasons of “Single Ladies” and more
  • Comedy Central: All seasons of “Chappelle’s Show,” “Strangers with Candy,” six prior seasons of “Reno 911!” and more
  • MTV: All seasons of “Laguna Beach” and “Snooki & Jwoww,” prior seasons of TEEN MOM 2, seasons of JERSEY SHORE: FAMILY VACATION and MTV FLORIBAMA SHORE, as well as a selection from THE CHALLENGE, “Beavis and Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection” and more
  • Nickelodeon: All seasons of “Avatar: Last Airbender,” “Rugrats,” plus all prior seasons of SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS and more, in addition to seasons of “Danny Phantom,” “The Legend of Korra” and “Sam & Cat” that were previously available
  • Smithsonian Channel: More than 60 episodes of “Aerial America,” seasons of “Air Disasters,” documentaries such as “The Day We Walked on the Moon,” “The Green Book: Guide to Freedom,” “MLK: The Assassination Tapes,” “Pocahontas: Beyond the Myth” and more
  • TV Land and VH1: Programming like “Hot in Cleveland,” as well as prior seasons of RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE and LOVE & HIP HOP and more
  • Paramount Pictures: More films have been added to the service since May, including “The Firm,” “Charlotte’s Web” and “Scary Movie,” with more than 150 movies in total now available

New content, including original series, launching on CBS All Access next week and through the end of the year include:

  • STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS: Premiering Thursday, August 6.
  • BIG BROTHER LIVE FEEDS: Offering an in-depth, exclusive pass to watch all the action inside the BIG BROTHER house all the time.
  • STAR TREK: DISCOVERY: Season three, premiering Oct. 15.
  • The Untitled Richard Linklater Project: premiering this fall.
  • THE STAND: Limited event series, premiering late 2020.
  • Fans can also binge other CBS All Access original series including the critically acclaimed hit THE GOOD FIGHT, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, STAR TREK: PICARD, TOONING OUT THE NEWS, NO ACTIVITY, WHY WOMEN KILL, THE THOMAS JOHN EXPERIENCE and more.
  • Other exclusive original series coming to the service in 2021 and beyond include THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, THE HARPER HOUSE and GUILTY PARTY.

Growing originals slate to also include:

  • KAMP KORAL, premiering in early 2021: From Nickelodeon and United Plankton Pictures, KAMP KORAL will follow 10-year-old SpongeBob SquarePants and his pals during summer sleepaway camp where they spend their time building underwater campfires, catching wild jellyfish and swimming in Lake Yuckymuck at the craziest camp in the kelp forest, Kamp Koral.
  • As previously announced, CBS All Access will also be the exclusive home to THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE ON THE RUN, the upcoming feature film which follows SpongeBob SquarePants, his best friend Patrick Star and the rest of the gang from Bikini Bottom in the first-ever all CGI SpongeBob motion picture event.

Additional originals spanning the ViacomCBS portfolio of brands will be announced in the coming months.

CBS All Access’ expanded sports programming kicks off next week with the conclusion of the 2019-2020 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. In addition to being the exclusive streaming home to UEFA club competitions in the U.S., CBS All Access also streams live coverage of the following major sports and live events:

  • NFL on CBS, including Super Bowl LV
  • College Basketball, including the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship
  • GOLF on CBS, including the PGA TOUR, the Masters and the PGA Championship
  • College Football, including SEC on CBS
  • National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL)
  • Hockey East
  • Major live entertainment events, including: THE GRAMMY AWARDS, THE ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, THE TONY AWARDS and more

CBS programming on the service continues to include more than 17,000 episodes of current and classic hits, the largest single catalog of America’s most watched Network spanning:

  • All current primetime, late night and daytime CBS shows.
  • All upcoming current CBS primetime series such as NCIS, FBI, THE AMAZING RACE, SEAL TEAM, ALL RISE, YOUNG SHELDON, BOB HEARTS ABISHOLA, B POSITIVE, EVIL, THE UNICORN, THE EQUALIZER, CLARICE and more.
  • Every prior season of 14 hit CBS series including SURVIVOR, NCIS and HAWAII FIVE-0.
  • Classics like all of the “Star Trek” television series, and acclaimed hits like “Cheers,” “Medium” and more.
  • The live stream of subscribers’ local CBS stations nationwide, as well as the ability to livestream CBS’ other digital channels, CBSN, CBS News’ 24/7 digital streaming news service featuring live, anchored coverage, CBS Sports HQ, offering 24/7 streaming sports network that offers news, highlights and analysis, and ET Live, dedicated to all things entertainment.

CBS All Access is currently available online at CBS.com, on mobile devices via the CBS app for iOS and Android, and on Roku Players, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Fire TV, Samsung Smart TVs, Comcast Flex, Facebook Portal, Vizio Smartcast TVs, LG Smart TVs, Amazon Prime Video Channels and Apple TV channels. The new design and product features will begin rolling out across platforms today. For more details on CBS All Access, please visit https://www.cbs.com/all-access.

About CBS All Access:
CBS All Access is ViacomCBS’ direct-to-consumer digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service. CBS All Access gives subscribers the ability to watch more than 20,000 episodes and movies on demand – including exclusive original series, current and past seasons of hit shows from the CBS Television Network and growing libraries from brands across the ViacomCBS portfolio including BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Smithsonian and more, as well as a wealth of films from Paramount Pictures. The service is also the streaming home to unmatched sports programming, including every CBS Sports event, from golf to football to basketball and more, plus exclusive streaming rights for major sports properties, including some of the world’s biggest and most popular soccer leagues. CBS All Access also enables subscribers to stream local CBS stations live across the U.S. in addition to the ability to stream ViacomCBS Digital’s other live channels: CBSN for 24/7 news, CBS Sports HQ for sports news and analysis, and ET Live for entertainment coverage.

The service is currently available across all major device platforms including online, mobile and connected TV and OTT platforms and services. Versions of CBS All Access have launched internationally in Canada and Australia (10 All Access), with unique but similar content and pricing plans. For more details on CBS All Access, please visit https://www.cbs.com/all-access.

About ViacomCBS:
ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC; VIACA) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Driven by iconic consumer brands, its portfolio includes CBS, Showtime Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, CBS All Access, Pluto TV and Simon & Schuster, among others. The company delivers the largest share of the U.S. television audience and boasts one of the industry’s most important and extensive libraries of TV and film titles. In addition to offering innovative streaming services and digital video products, ViacomCBS provides powerful capabilities in production, distribution and advertising solutions for partners on five continents.

For more information about ViacomCBS, please visit www.viacomcbs.com and follow @ViacomCBS on social platforms.

VIAC-IR

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From the ViacomCBS Newsroom:

VIACOMCBS’ STREAMING STRATEGY REACHES MAJOR MILESTONE

CBS All Access adds 3,500 episodes from BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Smithsonian Channel, plus new original series and exclusive live sports.

CBS All Access is now home to content from across the ViacomCBS portfolio of entertainment brands.

The move, announced earlier today, marks a significant expansion of the streaming service. The addition of series from BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Smithsonian Channel means CBS All Access’ library includes more than 20,000 episodes and movies. It will continue to add original and library content to its slate—including new spinoff series Kamp Koral and Star Trek: Lower Decks, which will build on the iconic SpongeBob SquarePants and Star Trek franchises, respectively.

The expansion is a milestone in ViacomCBS’ plan to transform CBS All Access into a super service and the subscription streaming home for all of ViacomCBS. The service will relaunch in 2021.

“Today marks the beginning of the evolution of CBS All Access into the subscription streaming home for ViacomCBS,” said Marc DeBevoise, chief digital officer of ViacomCBS and president and chief executive of ViacomCBS Digital, in a release. “By bringing the valuable IP and creative capabilities from across ViacomCBS together in one service, we have a fantastic opportunity to introduce even more consumers to this incredible offering.”

ViacomCBS’ has a unique ability within the streaming entertainment ecosystem to appeal to diverse audiences with a broad and deep content library, major live sports, and nationwide local news coverage. CBS All Access is the only large provider with all major live sports, including CBS network-delivered NFL, NCAA, PGA, and exclusive streaming rights to women’s soccer and UEFA. Subscribers can also watch live channels like CBSN, CBS Sports HQ, and ET Live. Its local coverage spans 99% of the U.S. In 2021, the super service will grow to 30,000 hours of content—which is at least double the amount of content on competitors like AT&T’s HBO Max and NBCUniversal’s Peacock.

“Audiences want entertainment on demand and news, sports, and live events,” ViacomCBS President and CEO Bob Bakish said during an earnings call earlier this year. “We’ll be the service that gives them what they want, how they want it, all in one place, and at a great value. This will be a compelling foundational service for some, and differentiated complement for others.”

The expansion of CBS All Access is an essential piece within ViacomCBS’ overall streaming strategy. Its owned and operated platforms include Pluto TV, a free, ad-supported TV streaming service, Noggin, a global subscription app for children’s content, SHOWTIME, a premium on-demand offering, and BET+, the brand’s premium subscription streaming service.

“Today in the U.S., on our owned and operated services across free and pay, we have over 120,000 hours of content. That is more than anyone else in the industry, bar none,” Bakish said in a keynote conversation at the virtual 2020 APOS Media Conference last week. “We have hits across every genre and every demographic.”

CBS All Access launched in 2014 and was the first subscription video on demand (SVOD) service created by a traditional broadcast network. In an interview with the ViacomCBS Newsroom, DeBevoise said they have a first-mover advantage in distribution, engagement, and audience insights.

“A lot of our competitors are being carried on one platform and not on another. We’re effectively across all the major platforms already,” says DeBevoise. “We are everywhere. We have millions of subscribers. We have a service with high engagement…. On top of that, we know what works and what doesn’t in regards to content.”

Programming at Scale: New Originals and Familiar Favorites

CBS All Access will continue to add programming from across ViacomCBS’ portfolio in the next few months. The strategy will enable the company to leverage its most popular franchises and deliver subscribers content across genres including drama, animation, sci-fi, comedy, reality, kids, and crime procedurals.

“We have a content catalog that creates this deep-dive experience for users,” says DeBevoise. “As time goes on, they’re only going to be able to dive deeper.”

This year, new ViacomCBS originals on CBS All Access will include Star Trek: Lower Decks, Big Brother Live Feeds, Star Trek: Discovery, and limited event series The Stand. In 2021, the service will also debut SpongeBob SquarePants spinoff Kamp Koral, and it will be the exclusive home to The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.

“A lot of what we’re talking about is which franchises do we want to build off of to really make the service shine and stand out from the competition,” says DeBevoise. “SpongeBob is a perfect example of that. We’re building out that entire franchise to become a key part of the service.”

With the expansion, CBS All Access also gains all seasons of BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood and Hit the Floor, Comedy Central’s Chappelle’s Show and Strangers with Candy, MTV’s Laguna Beach and Snooki & JWoww, and Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender and Rugrats.

The additional content will be available alongside more than 17,000 episodes of CBS primetime, late night and daytime shows such as FBI, The Amazing Race, All Rise, and Young Sheldon. CBS All Access also includes all seasons of the hit series Survivor, NCIS, and Hawaii Five-O, plus classic favorites like Star Trek, Cheers, and Medium.

Unmatched Breadth: Live and Local TV

The service’s live offering spans news, sports, and entertainment. CBS All Access live streams annual events including the Grammy Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the Tony Awards.



From CNBC:

ViacomCBS adds 70 shows to CBS All Access, will keep price the same and rebrand by early 2021

- ViacomCBS is adding content from its Viacom cable networks to CBS All Access, including all seasons of “Chappelle’s Show,” “Snooki & Jwoww,” and “Hot in Cleveland.”

- ViacomCBS will keep the pricing of CBS All Access the same and plans to rename the service.

- It has no plans to license content from other streaming services and will keep other niche streaming services, such as Noggin, operational while eventually shifting over its video content to the flagship service.

ViacomCBS is adding 70 TV series to CBS All Access on Thursday and will continue to move shows from Viacom’s cable networks into the company’s flagship streaming service in the coming months before officially rebranding it in 2021.

The new name for CBS All Access will be chosen soon, according to Marc DeBevoise, ViacomCBS’s chief digital officer. ViacomCBS is also changing the user interface for CBS All Access to accommodate search and discovery for the new content, including building icons with the old Viacom networks, such as Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV, to find programming.

The rebranded service will join rivals such as Disney’s Hulu and Disney+, NBCUniversal’s Peacock, and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max as traditional media companies embrace streaming. CBS All Access is already available on all major streaming platforms, including Amazon Fire TV and Roku.

That’s different from Peacock and HBO Max, which are are in prolonged carriage disputes with both platforms, which service about 70% of the streaming market. ViacomCBS’s service also differs from competitors’ products by including every live sporting event that’s broadcast on CBS, including National Football League games, and local news from CBS affiliates.

ViacomCBS won’t change the price of the service even though it’s adding more than 10,000 episodes of new shows over the next six months, DeBevoise said in an interview. ViacomCBS will officially relaunch in early 2021 with 30,000 TV episodes and movies from the company’s library, including films from Paramount Pictures. CBS All Access is $5.99 per month with advertisements and $9.99 per month without, though all of the service’s live programming includes commercials.

“We’re adding a lot of new content, but we think the differentiation for us really comes in the live offerings,” DeBevoise said.

The added shows that will be immediately available from CBS All Access on Thursday include BET’s “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” MTV’s “Laguna Beach,” Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” and Comedy Central’s “Chappelle’s Show.”

No plans to license content
The company will rebuild a CBS-only application after it shifts content to CBS All Access, DeBevoise said. It will also keep Noggin, its preschool application, operational because of its unique interactive functionality and access to games. The video content on Noggin, which includes popular Nickelodeon kids programming such as “Dora the Explorer” and “Paw Patrol,” will eventually move to the rebranded All Access, DeBevoise said.

While ViacomCBS recently struck a deal to license some of its content to NBCUniversal’s Peacock, the company doesn’t have plans to buy content from other media companies to integrate with its own library. DeBevoise noted that ViacomCBS’s 30,000 hours of content will be a larger catalog than either Peacock (which advertises 20,000 hours) or HBO Max (10,000 hours).

“Where we were with CBS All Access, the average age of a user was about 43 or 44,” DeBevoise said. “Now we’re expanding with kids programming, family content, the live component -- it’s bigger and more diverse. We’re working in all of our brands.”

The ViacomCBS service will also add new original programming in the coming months, including season three of “Star Trek: Discovery,” premiering Oct. 15, and “Kamp Koral,” a spinoff from “SpongeBob SquarePants” that focuses on 10-year-old SpongeBob and his friends at summer camp. “Kamp Koral” will debut in early 2021.

The newly branded CBS All Access will also be the exclusive streaming destination of “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run,” which will also be available in early 2021.

“In our service, there’s always going to be something happening live,” says DeBevoise. “We have the NFL season coming up. We have the Super Bowl this year. We have The Grammy’s every year. These big events drive people to watch the service, and then we can encourage them to watch similar programming.”

CBS All Access is one of few streaming services with a major live news offering that includes global, local, and national coverage, as well as sports and entertainment.

It is currently home to every CBS Sports event, including NFL on CBS, Super Bowl LV, NCAA Basketball, the PGA Tour and golf tourneys like The Masters Tournament, college football including tournaments like the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the National Women’s Soccer League, and Hockey East.

Earlier this month, ViacomCBS announced a deal with the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) to become the exclusive English language streamer of UEFA Champions League games. As part of the agreement, CBS All Access will live-stream all nearly 300 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League season games beginning with the Round of 16 playoffs in August.

A New Interface for an Enhanced Experience

CBS All Access’ redesigned user interface includes enhanced discovery and personalization features.

Branded hubs for BET, MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and Smithsonian Channel were introduced so that subscribers can explore content by brand. DeBevoise says the service will continue to evolve these hubs as more content is added to the platform into next year.

“We like to take an approach of curation and personalization. Content will be curated to show the right content at the right time, and there will be a deeper amount of personalization, especially on the homepage,” says DeBevoise. “The service will start to cater the experience for each user.”

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From Bloomberg:

ViacomCBS Enlists SpongeBob to Help Fight Its Streaming Rivals

- Cartoon star anchors bid to woo kids to online video service
- Company taps vast library of shows for all ages to spur growth

For 21 years, Nickelodeon has relied on “SpongeBob SquarePants” to draw young viewers to TV. Now, the cable network wants its underwater character to lure tots and their parents to the internet.

ViacomCBS Inc., which owns Nickelodeon, is adding the entire catalog of “SpongeBob SquarePants” to its CBS All Access streaming service on Thursday, and will release “Kamp Koral,” a spinoff show, on the service early next year. “Kamp Koral” will arrive around the same time a new “SpongeBob” movie appears on All Access, making it the online home for one of the most popular kids’ franchises.

With its stock sagging and the TV business in decline, ViacomCBS is hoping kids’ programming will make All Access a must-have service for parents. In addition to “SpongeBob SquarePants,” All Access has added all past seasons of “Avatar: Last Airbender” and “Rugrats.” It faces stiff competition, however. Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are all vying for the same young viewers with fresh programing.

“We just had a sprinkling of kids, but now could be a No. 1 or No. 2 top kids brand in the country,” said Marc DeBevoise, the company’s chief digital officer.

The expansion of children’s programming is part of a larger rebranding of the service coming next year. On Thursday, ViacomCBS All Access added thousands of episodes of old shows for viewers of all ages, including “Chappelle’s Show,” “Laguna Beach” and “Love & Hip-Hop.” “Kamp Koral” is the first of many original series coming to All Access from different divisions of ViacomCBS, which also owns the BET, MTV and Comedy Central networks.

DeBevoise helped introduce All Access in 2014, making CBS the first broadcast network to create a stand-alone streaming service. All Access has delivered slow but steady growth, relying on a handful of original series like “Star Trek: Discovery” and “The Good Fight” to bring in new customers.

Rethinking TV

But investors haven’t been impressed so far with the company’s online efforts. ViacomCBS previously pitched itself as an arms dealer, licensing some of its biggest hits to rival companies. It sold “South Park” to HBO Max, and had supplied many movies from its Paramount Pictures film studio to Netflix.

The contraction of the TV business has forced ViacomCBS to increase its streaming ambitions. Its cable networks have been hemorrhaging viewers and subscribers for years, losses that have accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic. The global outbreak has also battered TV advertising. ViacomCBS stock has tumbled 40% in 2020, the most among major TV companies.

“They need to do something to accelerate the growth,” Michael Nathanson, an analyst with MoffettNathanson Research, said before Thursday’s announcement.

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From The Hollywood Reporter:

CBS All Access Gets Programming Boost Ahead of Rebrand

The streamer is adding 3,500 TV episodes from BET, MTV, Nickelodeon and other ViacomCBS brands.
CBS All Access is getting an infusion of new programming as it preps for a rebrand in 2021.

The service will add more than 3,500 episodes from the Viacom family of networks, including BET, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon. To accommodate the new programming, All Access will get a design refresh that places an emphasis on the different brands. The price is expected to stay the same, starting at $6 per month with ads.

ViacomCBS chief digital officer Marc DeBevoise said the plan is to build out the new All Access offering before launching the rebrand because "we want to have all the content in there."

A key component of that content lineup is new original programming. CBS All Access is prepping a new animated children's series, Kamp Koral, a spin off of Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants. The show will premiere in 2021 and will be joined on the service by The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.

Eventually, CBS All Access will offer a library 30,000 TV episodes and movies, which will build on its existing library of CBS programming and originals including Star Trek: Discovery and The Good Fight. Among the shows that will join the service are Single Ladies, Chappelle Show, Laguna Beach, Rugrats and RuPaul's Drag Race.

Not all of the programming on CBS All Access will be exclusive to the service. ViacomCBS recently agreed to license a slate of movies and TV shows to NBCUniversal's Peacock. DeBevoise says it's "not realistic nor necessary" to have only exclusive programming to build the streaming service. He points to the company's originals and live sports, including UEFA, as differentiators for All Access.

Once ViacomCBS has rebranded CBS All Access, it will launch a separate CBS TV everywhere app. The Noggin app will also continue as as standalone product for kids.

CBS All Access has been available since 2014, but the rebranded service will be part of a competitive market that includes Peacock, HBO Max, Disney+ and Hulu. Netflix remains the streaming market leader with 193 million global subscribers.

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From USA Today:

CBS All Access gets new programming adding MTV, Nickelodeon, BET content

CBS All Access, the subscription service for on-demand CBS programming, is adding programs from corporate cousins from ViacomCBS including Nickelodeon, BET, MTV, VH1 and Paramount Pictures to appeal to more subscribers.

Calling it the "first big step be a super service," CBS All-Access chief Marc DeBevoise, says he'll have 20,000 titles now, and looks to get to 30,000 by early 2021 when it will rebrand with a new name.

The service charges $5.99 monthly with ads, or ad-free for $9.99. CBS says its streaming services (including Showtime) serves 13.5 million subscribers, which it hopes to grow to 16 million by the end of the year.

CBS All-Access features the entire CBS network lineup, along with originals like new versions of "Star Trek," and "The Twilight Zone," and "The Good Wife" sequel "The Good Fight.

CBS, a unit of Viacom, is reaching into the library to pull older cable TV titles like "Real Husbands of Hollywood" (BET), "Reno 911" (Comedy Central), "Laguna Beach" (MTV), "Rugrats" and "Spongebob Squarepants"(Nickelodeon), "Hot in Cleveland" (TV Land), and films like "Charlotte's Web" and "Scary Movie."

Some big TV show misses: "The Daily Show" (Comedy Central), "Catfish" (MTV) or "To Catch a Beautician"(VH1).

CBS will add original programs from the Viacom library, including “Kamp Koral,” a "Spongebob" spinoff, as well as another new "Star Trek" series, "Lower Decks," debuting Aug. 6, and a new series from director Richard Linklater, debuting this fall.

Why did CBS make the change? "To grow," says DeBevoise, and also to attract younger viewers.

The average age of CBS All-Access viewers is a 43 to 44 years old, and diversification "will help us get younger," says DeBevoise.

Viacom also owns Pluto, a free ad-supported streaming service, which also shows programming from BET, Nickelodeon, MTV and VH1. The difference is that with CBS All-Access, the network offers complete seasons of shows, while Pluto only offers episodes.

Streaming is dominated by Netflix (183 million subscribers) and Amazon Prime Video (over 150 million) along with new entries like NBC's Peacock and AT&T's HBO Max. However, while both Peacock and HBO Max have had a struggle getting distribution (both are not available on Roku or Amazon, which dominate the industry) while CBS is.

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From WrapPro:

How ViacomCBS Plans to Reinvent CBS All Access for the Streaming Era
by TIM BAYSINGER | July 30, 2020 @ 6:00 AM
Thursday began the first of a two-part reboot for the five-year-old streamer

ViacomCBS began the reinvention of CBS All Access on Thursday when it added thousands of shows from Viacom networks. It’s the first step of a phased approach the company hopes will turn the 5-year-old streaming service into a more worthy competitor in the streaming space.

The full rebranding of CBS All Access — complete with a brand-new name that has yet to be announced — won’t happen until early next year. But ViacomCBS didn’t want to wait that long to show consumers it could compete on the bigger streaming playing field that has materialized over the past year. Since last November, the space has added five newcomers.

“That was going to take a period of time,” Marc DeBevoise, ViacomCBS’ chief digital officer, told TheWrap of the full rebrand, which will also feature a completely redesigned platform. But adding Viacom content into the service was a much quicker turnaround. “Our feeling was, ‘Why wait?’ We can do that (now). This service is highly functioning — millions of subscribers, low churn, full distribution already.”

All Access added more than 3,500 episodes from Viacom networks BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Smithsonian Channel on Thursday, along with a smaller redesign that incorporates hubs for the Viacom networks. “There’s going to be other stair-steps on the way to the early 2021 full relaunch,” DeBevoise added.

ViacomCBS will be both a rookie and one of the streaming game’s most veteran players. CBS All Access launched in 2014, well before the streaming gold rush began. But its subscriber numbers pale in comparison to some of its bulkier competitors. Netflix has more than 190 million, while Disney+ has gained nearly 60 million in its first half-year of operation.

“It feels like the right time, because we’re seeing the growth accelerate. It may be partially COVID-19, partially just our own content timing,” DeBevoise says. “It just feels like we’re at the next inflection point.” While CBS All Access is getting a new look and name, the price won’t change. Currently, All Access charges $5.99 a month for limited commercials and $9.99 for an ad-free version. That pricing alone make a larger service more competitive among the other top players. DeBevoise said they’re already seeing growth among commercial-free subs, which now make up around 40% of the subscriber base.

“As of now, we don’t think the price needs to change,” he said. “We’re happy with where we are.”

ViacomCBS was initially hesitant to enter the so-called “Streaming Wars” by rolling all of its content into one, massive offering. Instead, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish appeared to want to stick with the company’s smaller services, which include the free PlutoTV and the niche offering BET+. Bakish’s stance was that the company was better off playing it both ways: Get incremental revenue from the smaller services while remaining open to licensing or selling content to the bigger streamers.

Paramount has sold multiple films to Netflix in the last year, and Nickelodeon signed an output deal with Netflix in early February. Comedy Central’s “South Park” went to HBO Max in a licensing deal worth at least $500 million. Even after Bakish announced that ViacomCBS would be transforming All Access into a larger player, the company hasn’t stopped cutting deals. Paramount has sold movies including “Lovebirds” and an untitled time travel film with Ryan Reynolds to Netflix. ViacomCBS cut a licensing deal with Peacock that give NBCUniversal’s new streaming service old library content that includes exclusivity windows for Paramount classics like “The Godfather.”

But DeBevoise contends that offering its library on a non-exclusive basis “doesn’t harm our business.” Even though Peacock will have exclusive periods on some Paramount films, DeBevoise compared the deal to studios’ traditional handling of movie rights. “The movie business is all about windowing, right?”

ViacomCBS wouldn’t be the first streaming service to share content. Disney+ was able to get the vast majority of its Marvel Studios-produced films for the launch last November, though more recent hits like “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Black Panther” remain available on TNT due to pre-existing licensing deals.

By hoarding everything for themselves, Disney, WarnerMedia and other streamers are willing to forgo an entire revenue stream, betting that enough customers will fork over a monthly fee to make up the difference. For example, Disney gave up $150 million in revenue last year by eliminating output deals.

“There’s this narrative in the press that you have to keep everything exclusive, otherwise you’re doing nothing. We think that’s false. You have to keep the right or enough things exclusive,” DeBevoise argued. “Depending on the nature of the content, it doesn’t always fit to be exclusive to the service.”

ViacomCBS plans to take more a targeted approach to exclusivity, relying mostly on its franchise IP. The streamer has already carved out its place in the “Star Trek” universe with three live-action series (with a fourth in development) and the animated “Lower Decks.” The next focus is the Nickelodeon mainstay “Spongebob Squarepants,” with a new movie, “Sponge on the Run,” as well as the prequel series, “Kamp Koral,” in the works as streaming-only properties.

ViacomCBS is also attempting to stake its claim where the other streamers’ have not: live sports. Unlike other streaming services, CBS All Access features a live feed of the CBS broadcast network, allowing access to live programming like NFL games and college sports. And CBS is scheduled to host Super Bowl LV next February — assuming it can still be played mid-pandemic.

All Access is also getting into exclusive sports rights, beginning with the UEFA Champions League next week. NBCUniversal’s Peacock, which had planned to launch this summer with coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, is so far the only other major streaming service that will have exclusive live sports. That could set up a preview of the next content battle between streamers.

“The key is that what are those exclusive things, or those current things or live things that can really drive users into the service? Those are the ones we’re focused on,” DeBevoise added. “I think the best part about the content we’re bringing in — the new originals we’re building and some of the things like UEFA — they’re actually hopefully going to diversify our audience a bit.”

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From Deadline:

CBS All Access Adds Tranche Of MTV, BET, Comedy Central Episodes In Expansion Ahead Of 2021 Rebrand

ViacomCBS has taken the wraps off an expanded version of CBS All Access, described as a “preview” of a rebranding of the streaming service in early 2021.

The newly fortified offering adds about 3,500 episodes of programming. Enhanced personalization and discovery features accompany a new user interface promoting brands like BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV from the home screen, along with CBS.

At a time when Apple, Disney, NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia have just launched multi-billion-dollar streaming services, the redesign aims to showcase the full ViacomCBS portfolio and a unique mix of on-demand and live fare. Viacom and CBS merged last December in a long-awaited, all-stock deal that reunited CBS, Showtime, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and other brands under one roof. The companies had long shared a common controlling shareholder in National Amusements, whose chief, Shari Redstone, is now chairman of ViacomCBS.

CBS launched All Access in 2015 as one of the first direct-to-consumer streaming offerings, and its mix of on-demand and live and local fare makes it unique in the streaming space. At a cost of $6 a month for an ad-supported version and $10 for an ad-free tier, it blends live news and sports attractions like NFL football and Champions League soccer with scripted originals and library titles.

Original shows like Picard and The Good Fight have helped CBS All Access steadily gain subscribers over the years. ViacomCBS, which will report its next quarterly numbers on August 6, said in May that CBS All Access and Showtime’s streaming outlet together had 13.5 million subscribers, up 51% from the same period in 2019. The company has never reported separate numbers for the two services, but executives have said they have generally been close to a 50-50 split.

One new addition to the programming lineup announced Thursday is Kamp Koral, the first spinoff of SpongeBob SquarePants. The prequel had previously been ticketed for Nickelodeon.

The addition of programming puts All Access at about 20,000 hours across film and TV, with plans to reach 30,000 by early 2021. Exclusive originals are expected to come from across ViacomCBS as well as Paramount’s film and TV studios. By comparison, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max had about 15,000 hours upon its May debut and Peacock was at 13,000 on its free tier and 20,000 at the premium subscription level. Disney+ and Apple TV+ are both significantly smaller, though priced accordingly.

Among the upcoming originals are Star Trek: Lower Decks, which premieres August 6; Star Trek: Discovery, whose third season goes live on October 15; Big Brother Live Feeds; The Stand, a limited event series premiering in late 2020; and an untitled Richard Linklater docuseries about animal rescues slated for this fall.

UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League soccer matches begin streaming next week after ViacomCBS won rights to the leagues’ games, which had been carried in the U.S. by Turner Sports.

“Today marks the beginning of an exciting evolution of CBS All Access into the subscription streaming home for ViacomCBS and a preview of what’s to come,” said Marc DeBevoise, Chief Digital Officer of ViacomCBS and president & CEO of ViacomCBS Digital, in the official announcement.

There has been head-scratching in investor and media circles over the strategy of ViacomCBS. The company continues to ink major licensing deals while also teasing a streaming presence that CEO Bob Bakish has called a “house of brands” and a “super service.” Deals with Netflix for Nickelodeon-branded films and series and with HBO Max for Comedy Central mainstay South Park were revealed late last last year. Just before Peacock expanded nationally this month, NBCU and ViacomCBS announced a sweeping licensing pact. It covers several signature properties, from Showtime’s Ray Donovan to Everybody Loves Raymond to the Godfather films. Skeptics wonder why the company hasn’t retained more of its own programming to deploy it in streaming.

In an interview with Deadline, ViacomCBS digital chief Marc DeBevoise said criticism of those licensing deals misses the point. Just as it has for decades in traditional TV, the company’s studios will continue to produce for other distributors on a case-by-case basis, he said, and it will avoid selling an entire category to a rival platform. (The Netflix/Nickelodeon deal, for example, leaves a large amount of Nick-branded kids and family programming for ViacomCBS to control.)

“We’ll be the place for everything us,” DeBevoise said. “Others can add pieces of the library.”

Distribution-wise, the early start by CBS All Access has given it an advantage over HBO Max or Peacock, which have both launched without distribution on Roku or Amazon Fire TV, which together reach 80 million U.S. households. All Access has been pretty much everywhere.

“Our product is complicated,” DeBevoise said. “We have a live, local element as part of an SVOD service.” Collaborating on the technical specs — often a pain point with streaming distribution, compared with pay-TV carriage — over a span of years has brought benefits, in DeBevoise’s view. Roku and Amazon Fire, for example, were smaller, hungrier operations in 2015.

“It’s kept us really close with them and it creates a really deep relationship with all of our channel partners,” he said.

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From Variety:

CBS All Access Adds 70 Shows From ViacomCBS’s Networks Ahead of 2021 Rebranding

ViacomCBS is playing the tonnage game with CBS All Access, paving the way for the launch of a renamed and bulked-up version of the direct-to-consumer streaming service in early 2021.

CBS All Access is adding 70 shows — representing more than 3,500 episodes in all — from legacy Viacom cable networks including BET, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon. The additional programming boosts CBS All Access’ title count to more than 20,000 TV episodes and movies, and ViacomCBS plans to up that to over 30,000 by the time it relaunches the service next year.

“It’s the first big step to transform All Access into the super-service we’ve been talking about,” said Marc DeBevoise, president/CEO of ViacomCBS Digital and ViacomCBS’s chief digital officer.

The media conglomerate first announced the plans to expand the programming available in CBS All Access earlier this year to include ViacomCBS cable content, under what it dubbed the “House of Brands” strategy.

The new content, to be available starting Thursday, includes all past seasons of Nick’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” and all seasons of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “Rugrats”; all seasons of Comedy Central’s “Chappelle’s Show” and six prior seasons of “Reno 911!”; BET’s “Real Husbands of Hollywood” (all seasons) and all prior seasons of “Single Ladies”; all seasons of MTV’s “Laguna Beach” and “Snooki & Jwoww,” plus prior seasons of “Teen Mom 2,” “Jersey Show: Family Vacation” and “MTV Floribama Shore”; and prior seasons of VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

In addition, CBS All Access in 2021 plans to premiere a new original kids’ series, “Kamp Koral,” the first spinoff from Nick’s “SpongeBob SquarePants.” And, as previously announced, CBS All Access will also be the exclusive home to “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run” in early 2021.

With the additional content, the pricing for the service will remain the same: $5.99 per month with ads and $9.99 monthly with no ads (with the exception of commercials in live programming). And, right now, DeBevoise doesn’t expect pricing to change with the rebranding in 2021.

The company doesn’t have a new name yet for CBS All Access, according to DeBevoise, who said ViacomCBS is working with several agencies on the rebranding launch.

One big change coming on the product front: The renamed subscription service will be split off from the CBS broadcast streaming service. Today, CBS All Access is built into the CBS app on most platforms, “and we intend to separate those in the long run,” DeBevoise said.

ViacomCBS will continue to maintain the Showtime standalone streaming product and the Noggin subscription service separately from the super-sized and reskinned CBS All Access.

CBS All Access is adding more content for kids (with Nick) and younger adults (MTV, Comedy Central, BET, and VH1), which will expand the OTT service’s addressable customer base, DeBevoise said: “I think our average age will get younger. Our customer base will get broader.” Later in 2020, he added, the streaming service will add the ability for users to add multiple user profiles — with parental controls enabled for individual profiles.


Earlier this year, CBS All Access added titles from the Paramount Pictures film library, and now offers more than 150 movies including “The Godfather” trilogy, “The Firm,” “Charlotte’s Web” and “Scary Movie.”

Along with the additional content, CBS All Access will roll out a new user interface across major device platforms Thursday. The redesigned UI includes new content categories and central hubs for ViacomCBS’ brands, as well as enhanced personalization and discovery features, including advanced recommendations. In the next few weeks, the guide will add a new “On Now” section highlighting live programming.


CBS All Access’ new user interface with the Comedy Central hub. Credit: ViacomCBS

ViacomCBS hasn’t broken out how many subscribers CBS All Access has. As of the first quarter, the media conglomerate said, the CBS All Access and Showtime streaming services combined have 13.5 million subscribers and are track to hit 16 million by the end of 2020.

The core of CBS All Access’ exclusive content will be its slate of originals and live sports, DeBevoise said, and the company is working to develop original shows from across the ViacomCBS portfolio. Coming in 2021, “Kamp Koral,” from Nickelodeon and United Plankton Pictures, will follow 10-year-old SpongeBob SquarePants and his pals during summer sleepaway camp where they spend their time building underwater campfires, catching wild jellyfish and swimming in Lake Yuckymuck at the craziest camp in the kelp forest: Kamp Koral.

Original series launching on CBS All Access through the end of the year include: “Star Trek: Lower Decks” (Aug. 6); “Big Brother Live Feeds”; “Star Trek: Discovery” Season 3 (Oct. 15); and limited-event series “The Stand,” based on Stephen King’s 1978 novel (late 2020). Those will join other originals including “Star Trek: Picard,” “The Good Fight,” Jordan Peele’s “The Twilight Zone” revival, and “Why Women Kill.”

Vis-à-vis ViacomCBS’s content library, DeBevoise said the strategy for CBS All Access (and the successor service) is to have the biggest selection of content from its own archives, while the company will still license library titles to partners. For example, ViacomCBS just inked a deal with NBCUniversal’s Peacock for a host of TV shows and Paramount movies on a nonexclusive basis.

ViacomCBS content added to CBS All Access includes:

BET: All seasons of “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” “Hit the Floor,” plus all prior seasons of “Single Ladies” and more
Comedy Central: All seasons of “Chappelle’s Show,” “Strangers with Candy,” six prior seasons of “Reno 911!” and more
MTV: All seasons of “Laguna Beach” and “Snooki & Jwoww,” prior seasons of “Teen Mom 2,” seasons of “Jersey Show: Family Vacation” and “MTV Floribama Shore,” and a selection of episodes from “The Challenge,” “Beavis and Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection” and more
Nickelodeon: All seasons of “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” “Rugrats,” plus all prior seasons of “SpongeBob SquarePants” and more, in addition to seasons of “Danny Phantom,” “The Legend of Korra” and “Sam & Cat” that were previously available
Smithsonian Channel: More than 60 episodes of “Aerial America,” seasons of “Air Disasters,” documentaries such as “The Day We Walked on the Moon,” “The Green Book: Guide to Freedom,” “MLK: The Assassination Tapes,” “Pocahontas: Beyond the Myth” and more
TV Land and VH1: Shows including “Hot in Cleveland,” as well as prior seasons of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “Love & Hip Hop”
On the sports front, CBS All Access’ expanded lineup kicks off next week with the conclusion of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. ViacomCBS secured UEFA rights through 2024, nabbing them a year early after Turner Sports bailed out.

First launched in October 2014, CBS All Access in addition to its on-demand and sports content lets subscribers live-stream local CBS stations across the U.S. along with ViacomCBS Digital’s other live channels: CBSN, CBS Sports HQ and ET Live.

CBS All Access is available online at cbs.com, on iOS and Android mobile devices, Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV, Apple TV, Google’s Chromecast and Android TV, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Samsung Smart TVs, Comcast Flex, Facebook Portal, Vizio Smartcast TVs, and LG Smart TVs. It’s also available through Amazon Prime Video Channels and Apple TV Channels.

Outside the U.S., versions of CBS All Access have launched in Canada and Australia (where it’s called 10 All Access) with different pricing and content lineups.

###

From Decider:

‘SpongeBob’ In, Showtime Still Out, and Other New Details on the CBS All Access Refresh Coming in Early 2021

Late last week, CBS All Access surprise-dropped more than 3,500 TV episodes into the service from the Viacom side of the December 2019 Viacom-CBS merger. The new titles — including RuPaul’s Drag Race, Chappelle’s Show, The Legend of Korra, and 21 seasons of The Challenge — represent roughly one-third of the new additions to the service for its relaunch in early 2021.

In his most detailed interview to date about the relaunch of CBS All Access and just ahead of the company quarterly earnings report on Thursday, ViacomCBS chief digital officer Marc Debevoise tells Decider:

- ViacomCBS will likely divide the current app that is used for both CBS All Access and cable-authenticated viewing of CBS shows into separate apps.

- Showtime, BET+ and Noggin will continue as separate services and will not be available as add-ons to the relaunched service, though a discount for subscribing to both CBS All Access and Showtime will likely continue.

- The relaunched service will likely have BET-branded originals that are not available on the BET cable channel or the BET+ streamer.
Nickelodeon will get a significant bump of additional children’s content with the relaunch.

- ViacomCBS is “not asking distribution partners to change their business plans” and expects to continue to be available after the relaunch on all the platforms where it is currently available, including Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

- Episodes of CBS shows will continue to be available the next day on the relaunched service, but episodes from shows on BET, Comedy Central, MTV and other ViacomCBS cable networks will not become available on the streamer until a year or more after those seasons end.

- The company has not yet decided whether to end the Comedy Central Now, MTV Hits and Nick Hits channels on Apple TV and Amazon Channels that are now effectively part of CBS All Access.

That’s in addition to the announcement late last week that Kamp Koral, a SpongeBob SquarePants spinoff series, will premiere in early 2021 on the relaunched streamer rather than on the Nickelodeon cable channel as originally planned.

DECIDER: I’m glad to see Viacom and CBS’s combined catalogs finally start to come together. This is something I’ve been hoping CBS All Access would do since the merger.

MARC DEBEVOISE: We heard you. [Laughs.]

Is the idea of adding catalog titles to CBS All Access that subscribers will spend more time on the service?

I certainly hope that adding more content will add more engagement for current subscribers, and it adds more value to the subscription over all. Keeping the price the same gives our service a leg to go after subscribers that have churned out and new subscribers, and it gives us tools to engage different audiences.

We now have a significant amount of content for kids with Nickelodeon, and that will expand more over time. We have Comedy Central, which is a much younger-male focus than the comedy we had on the service. Same thing with MTV and BET, which have a younger, reality-driven focus.

CBS All Access will relaunch in early 2021. What does that actually mean?

The service today is effectively an upgrade of the CBS app, and we really want to have it stand on its own. We’re going to rebrand the service, add 10,000 episodes and movies to it, and develop a slate of exclusive original content from the brands within the service. That’s going to take some time to build those originals, get the catalog content together, and redo the interface.

CBS will have an app that you can upgrade to this service, but we want to have it somewhat separated. We knew after we decided on that strategy that it would take us nine months or so to do it, and we realized three months later — which is now — that we could launch the brands, change the interface a bit, and go ahead and launch one-third of the content now and evolve the service over the next six months.

Will the new service sit in the existing CBS All Access app the way HBO Max took over the HBO Max app on most platforms?

We’re still working through the details of that. What we want is that if you’re a subscriber, the app will turn into the new app. If you use just the CBS app authenticated with a cable operator, then we’ll make that available on a dedicated CBS app and experience.

I’m sure you’re watching the carriage disputes now that are keeping HBO Max and Peacock off of Roku and Amazon Fire TV. How are you thinking about that with your relaunch coming in early 2021?

We’ve been in the market for five years with a phenomenal service and great relationships with those players, and we expect those partnerships to continue. We’re providing an improved service, and we’re not asking distribution partners to change their business plans or change things in some crazy way. We’re in a great position to maintain our distribution status on every major platform.

Has watching HBO Max and Peacock navigate their launches factored into your plans?

I wouldn’t comment on what those services have done, but we have the history and the strong relationships. We’re not owned by a distributor or attached to a distributor, so we have a very diversified subscriber base across all of the major distributors.

CBS will have the Super Bowl in February 2021. Are you hoping to relaunch around that?

We don’t have a specific date yet for the relaunch and rebrand, but the first quarter of 2021 has a lot of opportunities between, hopefully, the NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl, the Grammy Awards and March Madness.

The new service will be the same thing as CBS All Access insofar as it will have the same price and same content catalog as CBS All Access?

That’s correct. We’ll have the live feed of CBS, we’ll have the current seasons and catalog seasons of CBS shows that we have now, and we’ll have episodes and movies from the other ViacomCBS brands, including hundreds of titles from Paramount Pictures.

Is the idea of changing the name of the service that you want something that connotes a broader range of content than “CBS”?

We want a name that can sit over those brands and aggregate those brands for users. We’re working on that now and will have more to say on that in the not-too-distant future.

The new interface that you just launched is organized around six nameplates — CBS, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Smithsonian Channel. Will a new Comedy Central or MTV series on the service be marketed as a Comedy Central or MTV series?

The best example I can give you is Kamp Koral that we just announced, which is a spinoff of SpongeBob that will be exclusive to the new service. In the Nickelodeon section on CBS All Access, we now have 11 seasons of SpongeBob SquarePants. New seasons will still go on the Nickelodeon television network, and we’ll get them a year-plus later when the come into past-season status. We’ll have The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run around the launch of the new service. And we’ll have Kamp Koral there in that Nickelodeon section.

How will Sponge on the Run work? Will it be be an original that will stay on the service forever?

It will be an original following a paid VOD launch. Like Trolls World Tour and Scoob did. We’ll do that on PVOD for a short window, and then it will be on the service longterm.

Are there other upcoming film titles that will work the same way?

We don’t have others to announce, but we could certainly do more of those going forward. We believe in the theatrical business longterm, and we also sell movies to other outlets.

Do you have licensing or carriage obstacles to bringing something like The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to the service with same-day or next-day episodes, or are you making an affirmative decision not to carry it?

We’ve decided that our windowing for cable will be for past-season content.

So when the next season of Siesta Key is on MTV, you won’t have next-day episodes on the service?

Right, we would have that later on.

You have Star Trek: Lower Decks starting soon and Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 in October. How far off are you from having Star Trek as a churn-proof, year-round franchise?

We will have 23 straight weeks of original episodes starting Thursday with Star Trek: Lower Decks, which is an animated comedy from one of the writers on Rick and Morty. There’s huge interest in the show. It’s the most trailer views we’ve ever gotten for an original series. That runs for 10 weeks, and then Discovery will start the week after and run for 13 weeks. Star Trek: Picard Season 2 will be ready sometime in 2021.

I’ve been rewatching the first seasons of Reno 911! and Kroll Show on the Comedy Central Now channel that’s $4 a month on Apple TV and Amazon Channels. Will channels like that, MTV Hits and Nick Hits go away now that the catalogs are on CBS All Access?

We’ll have an overlap between those channels and CBS All Access for the moment. What we do with those channels in the long run is TBD.

What about BET+?

BET+ will continue for sure; that’s a joint venture with Tyler Perry and has a unique set of content that’s not going to be on BET or on CBS All Access. We’ll have BET representation on All Access and are looking to build originals for that, but it will be separate from BET+.

What about Noggin?

Noggin is a unique service we run that has content for preschoolers with games and educational content, and it also has preschool video content from Nick and Nick Jr. We will have the video content in All Access but not the game content, which will continue to be a standalone service.

We did not launch the preschool content in this round for All Access, but we’ll launch it later. We have parental controls built into the service, but we’re building out some specialized features for that age group.

Showtime is available to add to services like Hulu and AT&T. When will you be able to add it to CBS All Access?

You can already do it when you sign up for CBS All Access, and you can add CBS All Access when you sign up for Showtime.

Showtime is not integrated into CBS All Access, though, the way it is with Hulu. Do you want to integrate Showtime and CBS All Access together?

That’s not something we’re contemplating at the moment. We want to work to grow the services together and we’re thinking about how to bundle them.

You don’t want Showtime and CBS All Access users to eventually have an integrated experience?

Well, that’s a pointed question. [Laughs.] We have Showtime as an add-on service to CBS All Access and vice versa, but we have not built them as channels of each other.

That will not be a part of the relaunch in early 2021.

That’s not on the current roadmap.



So the relaunched app will have originals in these Viacom nameplates and more children’s content. Are those the two big things that will be different after the relaunch?

We’re working on features and functionality. We’ve got exclusive sports. The National Women’s Soccer League just finished up a tournament on the service. The UEFA Champions League and Europa League are about to start. New functionality coming to the service in the fall will show you how to toggle from game to game when there’s as many as six games going on at one time.

We made some big personalization changes in this round of updates to the service. The new home page is now much more machine-learning driven, so the things you see will start to filter by your behavior in the carousels and rows that you see. We’ve added more genres. We have Trending to bring more popular content to the front. More of that is coming.

How will that look? If I watch a lot of UEFA soccer, I’ll see it higher up in the user interface?

The service will use what you watch, what other people watch, and what’s new, and it layers those things together. You’ll see Trending, Recommended for You, and Keep Watching, and you’re viewing will drive what carousels you’ll see next — comedies or dramas or kids shows. Those will begin to sort more algorithmically than by our choices. We’ll also start to highlight things that are on now like news and sports.

Are you planning to add more top-level brands besides the six that you’re showing right now?

Never say never, but we don’t have immediate plans to add to those main brands.

Will the August 20 MTV Video Music Awards be on CBS All Access either live or at some point on demand?

It will not be live on CBS All Access. That will be available only on the cable networks and on the authenticated app. If we get the on-demand rights, it would be much later. We will run a lot of connect from the key brands a year-plus later, but the only broadcast or cable network running live on the service is CBS.

CBS All Access has made live viewing a priority with live CBS, live news, and live sports. How are you thinking about election coverage and other live programming going forward?

We’ll have full and robust CBS News election coverage on the service. We’ll have live, local news and live, 24-hour coverage on our CBSN news channel. We’ve seen huge, huge growth of CBSN viewing over the last few quarters given all the national news.

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More Nick: Nickelodeon to Premiere 'Star Trek: Prodigy' in 2021; Unveils Show Logo | Nick SDCC!

Originally published: Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 18:45 BST.

H/T: Nickandmore!; Additional source: @BillKKonadu; Additional source: TV Guide, CBS News, Trek Movie.

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