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Paramount looks to paint new pictures with Skydance Media

Lupita Nyong'o attends the Paramount Pictures premiere of "A Quiet Place: Day One" at AMC Lincoln Square on Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Lupita Nyong'o attends the Paramount Pictures premiere of "A Quiet Place: Day One" at AMC Lincoln Square on Wednesday, June 26, 2024 Copyright Evan Agostini/2024 Evan Agostini
Copyright Evan Agostini/2024 Evan Agostini
By Simone McCandless
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Paramount Global agrees to a deal with Skydance Media which will see Skydance's leadership team installed at Paramount.


One of Hollywood's oldest film studios, Paramount Global, is to merge with Skydance Media, in a deal said to be worth some $28 billion (€25.8 billion).

Paramount, founded in 1913, is one of Hollywood's first studios and known for some of the best movies of all times, including Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Godfather, Titanic, Forest Gump and Mission Impossible. The company founded networks like Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and CBS.

Skydance Media is an independent film studio started in 2010 by tech scion David Ellison, son of Oracle founder, Larry.

Ellison will become chairman and chief executive of the new Paramount; Jeff Shell, former chief executive of NBCUniversal, will be its new president.

The goal is to position the "new Paramount" as a "tech hybrid, able to transition to meet demands of the evolving marketplace," Ellison told financial analysts on Monday.

He plans to channel his family's software business, Oracle’s legacy, into New Paramount. The collaboration is said to focus on digital transformation on numerous platforms, including gaming, sports, television, animation, film, and news. The company is still unclear on which technologies it will integrate but has hinted at following Hollywood's turning point with Artificial Intelligence.

What will Paramount’s new digital landscape look like?

The merger between the two companies aims to revamp the digital landscape through cutting-edge technology systems boiling down to how their content is delivered. The combined entity will shift focus to providing content through its direct-to-consumer (DTC) platforms known as Paramount+ and Pluto to improve audience engagement and more accessibility opportunities.

New Paramount "will be a premier, creative-first destination for storytellers, dedicated to top-quality content and will be positioned to improve profitability, foster stability and independence for creators, and enable more investment in growth areas," the company said as it announced the merger.

The deal is set to take place in the summer of 2025 with the intent to reinvigorate CBS and Paramount brands by delivering content on DTC platforms such as Paramount+ and Pluto. Under the agreement, Skymedia will invest approximately $8 billion in Paramount and $2.4 billion in National Amusements.

Gerry Cardinale, Founder and Managing Partner of RedBird Capital, said: "The recapitalisation of Paramount and its combination with Skydance under David Ellison's leadership will be an important moment in the entertainment industry at a time when incumbent media companies are increasingly challenged by technological disintermediation. As one of the iconic media brands and libraries in Hollywood, Paramount has the intellectual property foundation to ensure longevity through this evolution – but it will require a new generation of visionary leadership together with experienced operational management to navigate this next phase."

The deal marks the end of an era for Shari Redstone, whose late father Sumner Redstone transformed the family-run chain of drive-in cinemas into a media empire that included Paramount Pictures, the CBS broadcast network and cable television networks Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV.

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