ViacomCBS teams up with 'Parasite' distributor to make Paramount+ Asia debut

FILE PHOTO: ViacomCBS headquarters is pictured in New York, New York, U.S. December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Kate Munsch

(Reuters) -ViacomCBS Inc and Seoul-based CJ ENM, the distributor of Oscar winning movie "Parasite", have signed a content partnership agreement, the companies said on Tuesday, marking the Asia debut for the U.S. company's Paramount+ streaming service.

The partnership will include co-productions for original series and films, content licensing and distribution across ViacomCBS' and entertainment company CJ ENM's streaming services.

As part of the deal, ViacomCBS will launch its Paramount+ streaming service in South Korea in 2022 as an exclusive bundle with TVING, CJ ENM's streaming service.

As the U.S. streaming market saturates, industry leaders are looking outside the United States for growth. ViacomCBS is relying on partnerships for some of that growth.

South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, has established itself as a global entertainment hub with its vibrant pop-culture, including the seven-member boy band BTS and movies such as Oscar winners "Parasite," and "Minari."

The hit Netflix series "Squid Game" from South Korea has gone viral across the world.

In August, ViacomCBS and Comcast Corp announced they will launch the streaming service SkyShowtime in Europe, bringing content from Nickelodeon, Paramount+, Sky and others as they team up to take on heavyweights Netflix and Disney+. SkyShowtime will be streamed in smaller European markets including Spain, Portugal, the Nordic countries, Netherlands and Central and Eastern Europe. Sky is also distributing Paramount+ streaming service in larger European markets, ViacomCBS announced earlier in July - part of an effort to expand Paramount+ into 45 markets by the end of 2022.

(Reporting by Helen Coster in New York and Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Jane Merriman)

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