The Viacom Split and Star Trek

Over the past few days we've gotten some new information filtering in regarding who now owns what in relation to Trek thanks to the Viacom split. And the winner is . . .

CBS Corp.

According to a note on StarTrek.com,

[...]CBS properties, which include the Star Trek TV series.

With the recent corporate split between Viacom and CBS, the latter company has taken control of all of Paramount's television properties, including the Star Trek franchise.

StarTrek.com itself has yet to update any pertinent info . . . the copyright still reads 2005, for instance. But, we also have the new CBSCorporation.com website, which says:

[The CBS Corporation] has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and UPN), cable television (Showtime), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (Paramount Television and King World), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), theme parks (Paramount Parks), digital media (CBS Digital Media Group and CSTV Networks, transaction pending) and consumer products (CBS Consumer Products).

The above seems to imply that Paramount Communications got split up in the de-merger, since Paramount Television has gone to CBS and there's no mention of Paramount Pictures anywhere on the site. And indeed, a check of a recent update to the Viacom website gives us the following:

CBS Corporation is comprised of CBS Television Network, UPN, CBS Radio, Viacom Outdoor, Viacom Television Stations Group, Paramount Television, King World, Simon & Schuster, Showtime and Paramount Parks. CBS Corporation will also include the operations of CSTV: Networks, Inc., a leading sports television network and digital media company devoted exclusively to college athletics, an acquisition expected to close in early January 2006.

Viacom Inc. is comprised of MTV Networks (MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, CMT: Country Music Television, Spike TV, TV Land and many other networks around the world), BET, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment and Famous Music. Viacom Inc. has also entered into an agreement to acquire DreamWorks SKG, a leading motion picture and television production studio, and an exclusive, worldwide distribution agreement with DreamWorks Animation (NYSE: DWA). The acquisition of Dreamworks SKG is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2006 and the worldwide distribution agreement will become effective at the time the acquisition is completed. More information about Viacom is available at www.viacom.com.

I'm a bit curious as to the state of the Trek films . . . one might've presumed they would've gone with Paramount Pictures (and indeed they are mentioned as part of the Paramount Pictures library on the Viacom site), but as part of the franchise I would think they must've gone with Paramount Television. This question remains up in the air. One is forced to wonder . . . is it possible Trek ownership is now split, too?

(Talk about a canon policy headache!)

Also of interest will be future DVD sales of series episodes . . . those would've come from Paramount Home Entertainment back in the day, but now will presumably emerge from some CBS Corp. entity.

And, check out the mention of "CBS Consumer Products". This, I presume, is the new entity name for Viacom Consumer Products, which (like Lucas Licensing for SW) is the company designated to handle the merchandising duties. Paula Block (Trek's Sue Rostoni) was at VCP, and presumably is now a part of "CBSCP" or "CCP" . . . or maybe just "CCCP" if it's a bad day at the office. ;)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

CBS Corporation Consumer Products.

Maybe they realized the acronym might sound a tad familiar... I feel gladder and gladder about my decision not to try and make a comprehensive canon page on my website.

On the plus side, it's unlikely that either corporate entity is actually going to make any new policies regarding Trek before the turn of the next decade.