“Paramount Global executive David Nevins, who has run the premium network Showtime since 2016, is leaving the company at the end of year,” reports CNBC. According to the report, it may help give the media conglomerate “more flexibility to potentially merge Showtime into Paramount+.” From the report: Along with his departure, Paramount Global is restructuring Showtime in ways that could give the company flexibility to effectively end Showtime as it’s existed for decades — as an independent premium cable network churning out prestige hits such as “Dexter,” “Weeds,” “Billions,” “Homeland” and “Yellowjackets.” Paramount Global announced Thursday that it’s moving Showtime’s network business under the leadership of Chris McCarthy, who runs other linear cable networks such as MTV and Comedy Central, and the streaming service under Tom Ryan, who runs Paramount Streaming.
The moves come as the company is considering the idea of merging Showtime into Paramount+ and using the network’s hit programming to fuel Paramount+ subscriptions, according to people familiar with the matter. The company’s goal is to have Paramount+ be one of the five largest global streaming services, along with Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max, Amazon’s Prime Video, Netflix and Disney+, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. No decisions about Showtime’s future have been made, and no changes are imminent, the people said.
One obstacle to pushing Showtime together with Paramount+ is existing pay TV distributor agreements. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Paramount has discussed simply shuttering the standalone Showtime network with at least one pay-TV partner. Another idea under consideration by Paramount Global executives is to move Paramount+ originals and movies to Showtime, effectively making Showtime a mirror to Paramount+’s content that doesn’t appear on other TV networks, two of the people said. That could assuage pay-TV providers, who could adjust pricing against the merged streaming product. […] Eliminating Showtime as an independent entity would also come with cost savings from head count reductions, such as Nevins’ departure, and technology and marketing duplications.