ViacomCBS changes name to Paramount to underscore streaming future

FILE PHOTO: The ViacomCBS logo is displayed at the Nasdaq MarketSite to celebrate the company's merger, in New York, U.S., December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) -ViacomCBS Inc said it will change its name to Paramount starting on Wednesday as the company positions itself to compete in the crowded market for streaming television viewers.

The switch was announced as the company began a presentation to investors to tout its future strategy and programming.

The new name "will help advance our strategy of harnessing all our strength and breadth in building the businesses of tomorrow," a memo sent to employees on Tuesday said.

Also on Tuesday, the company surpassed fourth-quarter revenue estimates as more people subscribed to its streaming platforms and the media giant posted strong advertising sales.

The company's flagship Paramount+ streaming service added 1 million subscribers in just a week in November following the release of family film "Clifford the Big Red Dog", adult drama "Mayor of Kingstown" and concert event "Adele: One Night Only".

Overall, ViacomCBS added 9.4 million global streaming subscribers in the quarter, taking its total count to 56 million subscribers.

The company also benefited from the resumption of live sports and a rise in affiliate revenue at its cable networks, which refers to the fees collected from cable and satellite operators and online distributors.

Revenue rose 16% to $8 billion in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with analysts' estimates of $7.51 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Operating income rose to $2.66 billion from $1.08 billion a year earlier.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru and Lisa Richwine in Los AngelesEditing by Aditya Soni and Matthew Lewis)

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