Paramount Discussing Home Video Merger with Other Studios

LOS ANGELES: In a bid to cut costs, Paramount Pictures is said to be considering the merger of its home-entertainment operations with that of 20th Century Fox or Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The move could save the Viacom-owned studio millions of dollars every year, published reports indicate. One of the plans being considered would have Fox or Sony handling physical distribution, while Paramount would pay for and market the products. The talks are, however, at a preliminary stage. The news comes following a round of cost cuts at Paramount, including a new streamlined management team.

The worldwide home-entertainment market is in decline, both due to the economic downturn and to the emergence of popular VOD and streaming services. A recent Screen Digest report revealed that a decrease in DVD purchases and rentals resulted in a $2.6 billion—or 4.8 percent—fall in the global video business in 2008.