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Paramount CEO: “General Entertainment Clearly Makes Sense For Us” As Disney Backs Away

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Paramount CEO: “General Entertainment Clearly Makes Sense For Us” As Disney Backs Away

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Paramount CEO: “General Entertainment Clearly Makes Sense For Us” As Disney Backs Away
Paramount CEO: “General Entertainment Clearly Makes Sense For Us” As Disney Backs Away

© Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

Asked whether Disney's move away from "undifferentiated" general entertainment programming would affect Paramount Global, CEO Bob Bakish said the platform already stands out in the space with its offerings, which include Paramount movies, CBS programming and Nickelodeon shows. his privileges.

“Differentiation is important and public entertainment may not make sense for everyone. But for us, community entertainment makes sense,” Bakish told LightShed Partners analyst Rich Greenfield during the company's earnings call Thursday.

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The question came after Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company would "regulate itself a little more aggressively when it comes to public entertainment" during the company's Feb. 8 earnings call, during which Disney expects to achieve $3 billion in content cost savings. the future.

"When you think about it, unlike our core franchises and brands, core entertainment tends to be undifferentiated, they've given us higher returns over the years because of their differentiation and quality," Egger told investors.

The comments also raised questions about whether Disney would sell Hulu, an option Disney is considering after Iger told CNBC on Feb. 9 that "everything is on the table." Greenfield also asked Paramount Global if it would consider buying Hulu during Thursday's talks, but executives did not respond to the question.

When asked about his focus on entertainment, Baksh pointed to Paramount Global's record quarterly revenue, with the company's subscribers reaching more than 77 million at the end of 2022, up from 67 million in the previous quarter. According to Paramount, subscriber growth was driven by such NFL hits as Yellowstone , Top Gun: Maverick and 1923 , CBS Entertainment and new franchises such as Tulsa King and Smile .

However, the increase came with rising costs as Paramount's fourth-quarter profit turned into a loss sequentially, with 2023 set to be the peak for investment flows with 2023 free cash flow forecast.

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Earlier on the earnings call, Bakish said that Paramount would look to effectively "manage" the company's content spending. That will come in part from its integration with Showtime, which is expected to save $700 million in annual costs going forward. However, Baksh said the company will focus on franchises that lead to greater ownership with lower acquisition costs, while making "selective pivots" to new IPs.

“Our cross-platform strategy and franchise focus ensures that we can build a compelling content slate while also delivering compelling content with an ROI. Again, general entertainment works for us, usually streaming, and maybe we're different. According to our strategy of creating assets, we are leaning towards it," Baksh said.

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