Viacom Inc. (/ˈvaɪəkɒm/ VY-ə-kom) is an American multinational media conglomerate with interests primarily in cinema and cable television. It is currently the world’s ninth largest broadcasting, cable, and media company, in terms of revenue; behind Comcast, The Walt Disney Company, Time Warner, 21st Century Fox, Bertelsmann, Dish Network, Sony, and Vivendi. Voting control of Viacom is held by National Amusements, Inc., a privately owned theatre company controlled by the billionaire Sumner Redstone. Redstone also holds, via National Amusements a controlling stake in CBS Corporation.
The current incarnation of Viacom was created on December 31, 2005, as a spin-off from the original incarnation of Viacom, which was renamed as CBS Corporation after the spin-off. CBS Corporation currently retains control of the over-the-air broadcasting, TV production, subscription pay television, (with Showtime Networks) and publishing assets (with Simon & Schuster), which were previously owned by the original Viacom. Predecessor firms of the original Viacom included Gulf+Western (which later became Paramount Communications) and Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Comprising BET Networks, Viacom Media Networks and Paramount Pictures, the current Viacom operates approximately 170 networks, reaching approximately 700 million subscribers in approximately 160 countries.
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