Paramount+ Sets UK Launch Date; Reveals India 2023 Plans

Paramount+ is to launch in the UK and South Korea next month and will be in India next year, Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish has revealed in the past hour.

During the Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS) Q1 earnings call that has been taking place in the U.S., Bakish updated on a wealth of Paramount+ international launches that will see the deep-pocketed streamer based in more than 60 markets by the end of this year.

June 22 is the launch date for the UK, one of Paramount+’s key markets where it has also ordered much of its international content. South Korea launch will take place during the same month, following a landmark tie-up with CJ E&M.

Launches in Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria will follow in the second half of this year.

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In the UK, Paramount+ will cost £6.99 per month or £69.90 per year, featuring on Sky as part of a multi-platform distribution agreement that also includes the extended carriage of Paramount’s leading portfolio of pay TV channels.

Shows such as Mayor of Kingstown, The First Lady and The Man Who Fell to Earth will be available from the start, along with big U.S. hits including Yellowstone and South Park. 

India

Paramount+ will subsequently open in the untapped growth market of India in 2023 via its Viacom18 platform, a huge territory where the likes of Netflix, Disney and Amazon Prime all have presences. Viacom18 is a JV between TV18 and Paramount Global and operates a number of Paramount channels.

Given its recent capital infusion, Paramount+ is “poised to become an even more significant streaming player in the [Indian streaming] market,” according to Bakish.

“That is a fundamentally attractive market, a market that is already at scale and has a tremendous future ahead of it in the context of media. Viacom 18 has been a significant player in the market since its inception,” he said.

“We look at that as a great opportunity for Paramount+. We’re going to enter in 2023 in a very capital-efficient, hard-bundled way. We think that’s a great route into that market. India will be incremental to our 100M sub guidance.” The 100M is comprised of subs to all Paramount’s streaming service not just Paramount+.

“Bakish praised Viacom18 as the “model we like,” celebrating “broad reach television networks combined with a Hindi film business, both regional and national, and streaming assets all underpinned by strong local content.”

Last week, Viacom18 and Indian conglomerate Reliance inked a $1.8BN strategic partnership with Bodhi Tree, an investment platform run by James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems and former Disney executive Uday Shankar.

SkyShowtime, the JV between Paramount and Sky owner Comcast, is also rolling out to a household base of around 90M people in the territories that Paramount+ isn’t launching in, mainly in Eastern Europe.

The announcements come as each of the major U.S. streamers deepens its push into Europe.

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