Showtime chief’s exit signals Paramount’s move toward streamlined integration

Damian Lewis as Bobby Axelrod within the unique sequence “Billions” airing on Showtime.

Jeff Newman/Showtime

Paramount International CEO David Nevins, who joined Showtime in 2010 and has run the premium community since 2016, will go away the corporate on the finish of the yr.

Alongside along with his departure, Paramount International is restructuring Showtime in ways in which may give the corporate the pliability to successfully finish Showtime because it has been for many years — as an impartial premium cable community producing acclaimed hits like “Dexter,” “Weeds,” “Billions and.” Homeland” and “Yellowjackets”.

Paramount International introduced Thursday that it’s transferring Showtime Community’s enterprise beneath Chris McCarthy, who runs different line cable networks like MTV and Comedy Central, and a streaming service beneath Tom Ryan, who runs Paramount Streaming..

The strikes come as the corporate weighs the concept of ​​integrating Showtime into Paramount+ and utilizing community programming to feed Paramount+ subscriptions, based on individuals conversant in the matter. The corporate’s purpose is to make Paramount+ one of many high 5 international streaming companies, aspect by aspect Uncover Warner Bros.HBO Max, Amazonprime minister video, Netflix And the Disney+ stated the individuals who requested to not be named as a result of the discussions are non-public.

Folks have stated that no selections have been made about Showtime’s future, and no modifications are imminent.

We’re all the time exploring choices to maximise the worth of our content material funding by giving customers entry to nice Paramount content material – together with Showtime’s premium, ground-breaking content material choices – throughout a spread of companies and platforms,” a Paramount International spokesperson stated.

“This modification has additionally given us the chance to align studios, networks, and broadcast operations extra intently as we implement our imaginative and prescient and technique for the longer term,” CEO Bob Bakish stated within the assertion.

Showtime’s blurry future

Paramount+ has 43.3 million international subscribers and expects them to achieve 100 million by 2024. The corporate didn’t say what number of Showtime subscribers it has however final reported 64 million subscribers throughout all streaming companies – Paramount+, Showtime, Noggin, BET+ and some others smaller merchandise. Bakish additionally stated earlier this yr that Showtime misplaced 500,000 subscribers within the first quarter as thousands and thousands of individuals canceled linear pay-TV yearly.

Paramount International introduced a bundle promotion in August, permitting Paramount+ subscribers to observe Showtime content material throughout the Paramount+ app for $7.99 per thirty days with advertisements or $12.99 per thirty days with out commercials. Folks stated this present was step one towards making Showtime a slab inside Paramount+, to completely combine the 2 companies.

One of many obstacles to Showtime’s push together with Paramount+ is its current pay-TV distributor agreements. The Wall Road Journal reported final month that Paramount had merely mentioned shutting down the impartial Showtime streaming service with at the least one pay-TV accomplice.

One other thought into consideration by Paramount International executives, two individuals stated, is to maneuver Paramount+ belongings and movies to Showtime, successfully making Showtime a mirror of Paramount+ content material that does not seem on different TV networks. That might calm pay-TV suppliers, who can regulate costs for the built-in streaming product.

Showtime’s potential evolution to Paramount+ displays a bigger pattern in media and leisure. HBO, Starz, Showtime, and Epix — premium cable networks which were round for a very long time as fundamental cable add-ons — haven’t got the size to outlive in opposition to the most important streaming companies. In consequence, they search for methods so as to add content material and develop their viewers. HBO content material is proven on HBO Max, which can merge with Discovery+ subsequent yr. Starz is trying to separate from Lionsgate so it might probably combine with different content material suppliers to realize scale.

Eliminating Showtime as a separate entity can even save prices from workers reductions, such because the departure of Nevins, duplication of expertise and advertising.

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