Comcast, ViacomCBS to partner on European SVOD service

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Comcast and ViacomCBS are partnering to launch SkyShowtime, a subscription video on demand service in more than 20 European territories and reaching more than 90 million homes.

SkyShowtime will combine assets from NBCUniversal, Sky and ViacomCBS but will not be available in the U.S. or the United Kingdom.

It’s set to launch in 2022, pending regulatory approval. Ultimately viewers in Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden will be able to watch the service.

At launch, SkyShowtime is expected to offer more than 10,000 hours of content.

The companies did not announce specific programming, pricing or an exact launch date.

The venture represents an interesting pairing between two companies that own rival networks and services in the U.S. — with Comcast owning NBC and ViacomCBS owning CBS. The two companies also own the competing Peacock and Paramount+ streaming services.

The Showtime name comes from a portfolio of networks by the same name ViacomCBS operates in the U.S. Its trademark network is a premium cable channel.

Sky, meanwhile, was previously owned by 21st Century Fox but acquired by Comcast in a bidding war following Disney’s plans to acquire most of 21st’s assets.

NBC News, meanwhile, previously owned a 25% stake in Euronews but sold that in 2020.

NBC had also planned on launching NBC Sky World News in 2020 but paused the venture due to the coronavirus pandemic and eventually announced it was scrapping the project.