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The board of CBS is preparing for contract negotiations with Viacom: Sources



The CBS Board is preparing for merger talks with Viacom, according to experts.

The long-awaited talks between the two companies controlled by National Amusements are expected to begin in mid-June could start even earlier, sources said. Robert Bakish, CEO of Viacom, would probably run the company.

Although there have been no discussions, Shari Redstone, CBS and Viacom vice chairman, has long voted to marry the two, as the former appears to be increasing their balance sheet. The additional size would likely help CBS compete with major technology companies such as Amazon and Facebook for the broadcasting rights of the National Football League.

National Amusements has twice attempted to bring media companies together, but failed. Should it eventually come to a merger, National Amusements would likely move on to a second deal, CNBC officials said earlier this year Two persons familiar with the matter told CNBC in January. The company is also expected to continue discussions on the acquisition of Lions Gate's premium entertainment network Starz, CNBC reported last week's cable and satellite TV subscriptions in favor of over-the-top and streaming options.


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