In this age of digital media streaming, one of the greatest priorities of big media companies around the world is to procure plenty of content to provide over their digital platforms, preferably on an exclusive basis. Said companies have often gained avenues of media content by acquiring production units such as film and television studios which would have extensive libraries of movies and series to stream. This was the rationale of Qatar-based pan-Arab media network beIN when it acquired American film studio Miramax in 2016, with intent to sell a portion of it to a stateside partner. The Viacom conglomerate expressed interest in dealing, before their eventual merger with CBS.
Now, as The Hollywood Reporter tells it, the finally-merged ViacomCBS is in renewed discussions to take up the earlier offer by beIN Media Group with regards to taking a minority stake in the Miramax film studio. While the outfit is now under the beIN umbrella, the Qatari conglomerate is looking to link up with an equity partner in Miramax’s home nation, to form a strategic partnership that will monetize the studio further. No definite outcome has been revealed about the talks, much like the former Viacom’s other competition for the Miramax stake, Lionsgate and Spyglass.
The minority stake would optimally give ViacomCBS access to the Miramax film library, which contains both blockbusters and award-winning movies such as “Good Will Hunting,” “The Crying Game,” “Pulp Fiction,” the “Scream” franchise and many other well-remember features. The partial stake being offered by beIN would ensure that the current parent company of Miramax would be able to make use of their existing content too.
Miramax is a fairly well-established independent film studio founded in 1979 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, and its movie offerings made it fairly marketable that Disney acquired it by 1993. The Weinsteins maintained their independent creative spirit for Miramax until they departed in 2005 to found another studio in The Weinstein Company. Disney would eventually sell Miramax to FilmYard Holdings in 2010, with beIN buying it off them in 2016.
For its part, beIN began in 2014 as a holding company for a sports network spun off from Al Jazeera earlier in 2012. It has built up its own content portfolio outside of sports by forming partnership agreements with Turner Broadcasting System, BBC, Warner Bros., Discovery, CBS, and DreamWorks Animation. Miramax was one of their latest acquisitions for further expansion.
Image courtesy of Deadline