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
joining forces to tap and expand their content libraries and compete with the likes of Netflix
Prime Video service.
Reuters had reported in May that Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF.A) 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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