Wall Street mixed on Paramount+

Wall Street analysts can’t agree on Paramount+, ViacomCBS’s upcoming premium streaming service.

The SVOD is a rebranded version of CBS All Access and will launch next week in the US, Canada and Latin America with more than 30,000 episodes and 2,500 movie titles across a wide range of genres and over 1,000 live sporting events.

But while ViacomCBS is full steam ahead with the platform, a number of influential Wall Street analysts have provided mixed readings for the future.

On the most extreme side, Needham Co.’s Laura Martin was so convinced by the pitch that she advised traders to sell Netflix and buy ViacomCBS stocks. Sanford Bernstein Co.’s Todd Jeunger by contrast was not impressed by the presentation and said that the streamer “lacks the global scale of competitive offerings.”

The critical side of the aisle argues that ViacomCBS has a long-term debt of US$19.7 billion and that its legacy TV businesses will continue to suffer in the coming years.

More in the middle, JPMorgan analyst Alexia Quadrani takes a balanced approach and said that ViacomCBS will be rewarded for its aggressive streaming spending plans though enthusiasm “is somewhat tempered.”

Other analysts from the likes of BMO Capital Markets and Guggenheim Partners have either decided that Paramount+ has what it takes to compete with Disney, Netflix et al., or have already written the streamer off for an overly complicated platform that tries to combine entertainment, live sports and news.

MoffettNathanson analyst Robert Fishman however said that he would require more information before casting a decision. He said that there is confusion on Showtime’s operation as a standalone OTT offer, and raised questions as to what value this would deliver.

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