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ViacomCBS, NENT Group Join Hands to Launch Pluto TV in the Nordics

ViacomCBS Networks International, a subsidiary of diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate ViacomCBS Inc. (VIAC), recently announced that it has partnered with Nordic Entertainment Group to launch Pluto TV across Sweden, Denmark and Norway in 2022.

Following the news, shares of the company declined 1% on Monday. The stock, however, pared its losses slightly to close at $32.30 in the extended trading session.

Implications of the Partnership

Under the terms of the partnership, ViacomCBS’ free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service will be integrated with the pan-Nordic AVOD platform, Viafree. NENT Group will serve as the platform’s leading advertising sales partner.

The partnership will provide the new FAST/AVOD platform with curated channels and on-demand programming, featuring international and local content for the viewers.

Management Commentary

The CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International, Raffaele Annecchino, said, “The combination of our global content pipeline and Pluto TV’s best-in-class tech global platform, with NENT Group’s ad sales scale and powerful local Viafree content, will position Pluto TV as the leading player in the growing FAST/AVOD space.”

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Price Target

Recently, Bank of America Securities analyst Jessica Reif Cohen reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $53, which implies upside potential of 64.2% from current levels.

The analyst said, “VIAC is poised to drive significant net adds in 2022 aided by their recently announced T-Mobile deal, Sky distribution agreement and SkyShowtime JV along with upcoming launches in several other international markets. We believe these distribution deals will enable VIAC to achieve scale more rapidly and we would not be surprised to see more of these announcements in the coming months. The company has a deep breadth of content that have a broad appeal and expands the potential TAM for their streaming service.”

The Street is cautiously optimistic about the stock and has a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 5 Buys, 5 Holds and 1 Sell. The average ViacomCBS price target of $48.82 implies that the stock has upside potential of 51.2% from current levels. Shares have declined 8.5% over the past year.

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