In what was surely an inevitable moment in the ongoing streaming wars, Paramount Plus is finally set to debut in Europe. ViacomCBS has cut a deal with Sky to roll out Paramount Plus in the UK, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland, at some point in the latter half of 2022.
As part of the new multi-year distribution agreement, the TV streaming service will be available on Sky platforms, with the return agreement being that of the extended carriage of ViacomCBS’ portfolio of pay-TV channels, plus the renewal of Comcast-owned Sky as an ad sales partner.
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As part of the new streaming deal (opens in new tab) announced today (August 5), Sky Cinema subscribers will get Paramount Plus at no extra cost, which opens the door to thousands of hours of additional binge-worthy streaming content. Other Sky subscribers will have to add it to their accounts. Users will have the option of purchasing bundles or a direct subscription to Paramount Plus.
Raffaele Annecchino, president and CEO, ViacomCBS Networks International, said: "This transformative distribution deal is key to accelerating our global ambitions in streaming while also supporting Sky’s strategic objectives to better serve audiences with greater flexibility in how they consume our content across all platforms.”
ViacomCBS stopped short of fleshing out the precise details of the tie-up, for now keeping schtum on pricing info or how the content could vary across different localities. Streaming heavyweights like Amazon and Netflix, for instance, have different agreements in place for certain shows depending on whereabouts they are in the world.
There's no doubt that this is a big step forward for Paramount Plus. The news means it joins Netflix and Amazon Prime, as the latest addition to the Sky Q service, with the popular Disney Plus UK joining only last year. Europe enjoys a heavy streaming diet, and Sky’s ability to deliver content to hard-to-reach audiences is critical to the success of these partnerships. Pricing and local content differences aside, Paramount Plus now has a very good launchpad from which to target new audiences with its streaming catalog.