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ViacomCBS looks to raise US$3 billion to fuel streaming push

ViacomCBS has unveiled plans to raise US$3 billion from a new share offering to fund its expansion plans in streaming.

The US media giant has issued two tranches of shares to investors – $2bn of Class B and a further US$1 billion of Series A – and said it intends “to use the combined net proceeds from the offerings for general corporate purposes, including investments in streaming.”

ViacomCBS has been rapidly increasing its global OTT activities over the past six months, including rebranding and relaunching streamer CBS All Access as Paramount+ in North America.

The SVOD launched with more than 30,000 TV episodes and films from ViacomCBS’s brands and production studios including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel.

Sports are also central to the offering, while there are extensive – and expensive – plans to rapidly increase the amount of original content on the service, with ViacomCBS-owned IP ranging from Grease and Frasier to RugratsCriminal Minds and iCarly set for reboots.

The fundraising comes ahead of the SVOD’s launch in the Nordics later this week and Australia in 2021, while ViacomCBS is also ramping up the reach of its AVOD service Pluto TV globally.