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Shares of Viacom  (VIAB) - Get Viacom Inc. Class B Report  rose nearly 6% on Thursday after a report said the media company's board was looking to kick off merger talks with CBS  (CBS) - Get CBS Corporation Class B Report as early as next month.

Citing sources close to the discussions, CNBC on Thursday reported that CBS's board is looking to begin talks with Viacom in mid-June. The two companies have not yet held discussions, CNBC said.

The discussions come amid other media companies including Walt Disney

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and AT&T

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 joining forces to tap and expand their content libraries and compete with the likes of Netflix

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and Amazon's

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Prime Video service. 

Reuters had reported in May that Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF.A) - Get Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation Class A Report also offered to sell cable channel Starz to CBS for $5.5 billion after rebuffing a lower offer.

CBS and Viacom are controlled by National Amusements, which is owned by the Redstone family.

Shares of Viacom were up 5.87%, or $1.63, at $29.38 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Shares of CBS also rose on Thursday, gaining 3.6%, or $1.68, to $48.38 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Viacom is expected to report quarterly earnings of 81 cents a share on sales of $3.1 billion, based on a FactSet survey of 23 analysts. In the same period a year ago, the company posted earnings of 92 cents a share on sales of $3.1 billion.

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