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Report: Paramount rejected $3 billion offer for Showtime

The media company also turned down a proposal to merge Showtime with Lionsgate's Starz.

The media company also turned down a proposal to merge Showtime with Lionsgate's Starz.

Showtime content appears within the Paramount Plus app on August 31, 2022. (Graphic by The Desk)

A former Paramount Global executive offered to buy multiplex movie network Showtime from the company for more than $3 billion earlier this year, according to a new report published on Tuesday.

The story, published by the Wall Street Journal‘s Jessica Toonkel based on unnamed sources, said David Nevins made the pitch with backing by the private equity firm Genearl Atlantic, and was just one of several unsolicited offers Paramount has received over the last few years.

Ultimately, Paramount executives turned down Nevins’ offer for Showtime, choosing instead to integrate the brand into its Paramount Plus streaming product. Earlier this month, the company announced plans to raise the price of Paramount Plus in the United States following the integration of Showtime movies and TV shows into its ad-free plan, which will cost $12 a month, an increase of $2.

As part of the change, the name of Showtime’s multiplex movie network will change to Paramount Plus with Showtime, reflecting the same name of the premium streaming tier of Paramount Plus, executives affirmed in January. The standalone Showtime application is expected to be shut down in the coming months, with subscribers moved over to Paramount Plus.

Until last year, Nevins worked as the chairman and CEO of Paramount Premium Group. He also oversaw scripted content at Paramount’s various properties, including Paramount Television Studios, BET and Showtime. He worked at the Showtime brand for more than a decade.

The offer made by Nevins for Showtime was not the first received by Paramount over the last few years. Another unsolicited offer, made by Lionsgate Entertainment, would have seen the merger of Showtime with Lionsgate’s own multiplex movie network Starz, the Journal reported.

A second former Paramount executive, Mark Greenberg, also made an offer to acquire Showtime for as much as $6 billion through a deal backed by another private equity firm, the Journal said, but that offer was also rejected.