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Company > CBS Corp: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2024

CBS Corp: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2024

Published: Feb 29, 2024

Inside This Article


    In 2024, CBS Corporation continues to navigate the ever-evolving media landscape with its distinctive business model. This article delves into the core strategies that propel CBS's success, including its diversified portfolio of broadcast, cable, and digital assets. We'll embark on a comprehensive analysis of CBS's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) to understand its market positioning better. Additionally, we'll compare CBS with its main competitors, highlighting the competitive dynamics within the media industry. Join us as we unravel the intricacies of CBS Corp's operations and its battle for supremacy in the media sector.

    What You Will Learn

    • Ownership and Vision of CBS Corp: Discover who owns CBS Corp and explore the core mission that drives its strategy and operations.
    • Monetization and Strategy: Understand how CBS Corp generates revenue through a detailed breakdown of its business model canvas.
    • Competitive Landscape and Strategic Positioning: Gain insights into CBS Corp's key competitors, and delve into a comprehensive SWOT analysis to grasp its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the media industry.

    Who owns CBS Corp?

    CBS Corporation, now part of a larger media conglomerate following its 2019 merger, has a complex ownership structure that reflects the intricate landscape of modern media ownership. Understanding who owns CBS Corp is essential to grasping how decisions are made within the company and how those decisions might affect the content viewers consume.

    National Amusements

    At the heart of CBS Corp's ownership is National Amusements, Inc., a privately-owned theater company that operates under the leadership of the Redstone family. Shari Redstone, daughter of media mogul Sumner Redstone, plays a pivotal role in the company's direction and decision-making processes. National Amusements holds a controlling interest in ViacomCBS (the entity formed by the merger of CBS Corporation and Viacom in December 2019), making it the ultimate parent company of CBS.

    ViacomCBS and Its Stakeholders

    After the merger, ViacomCBS rebranded to Paramount Global in 2022, marking a new chapter in the corporation's history. This rebranding reflects the broader scope of the company's media and entertainment portfolio. Paramount Global, trading under the ticker symbol "PARA" on the stock market, is owned by its shareholders. Institutional investors, mutual fund companies, and individual stakeholders hold shares in the company, influencing its operations to varying degrees based on their share of ownership.

    The Role of Institutional Investors

    Institutional investors play a significant role in the ownership of Paramount Global. These entities, including pension funds, insurance companies, and investment firms, own large blocks of shares, giving them considerable sway over corporate decisions. Their investment decisions can impact the strategic direction of the company, including CBS's programming and operations.

    The Influence of Individual Shareholders

    Beyond institutional investors, individual shareholders also contribute to the ownership landscape of CBS Corp through Paramount Global. While their individual influence might be smaller compared to large institutional investors, collectively, they hold a stake in the company's success and strategic direction. The dynamic interaction between these various ownership entities shapes the content and strategies of CBS, reflecting broader trends and demands in the media industry.

    In conclusion, CBS Corp, under the umbrella of Paramount Global, is owned by a mix of private family ownership and public shareholders. This complex web of ownership influences the company's strategic decisions, programming choices, and overall direction in the rapidly evolving world of media and entertainment.

    What is the mission statement of CBS Corp?

    What is the mission statement of CBS Corp?

    At the core of CBS Corporation's operations and ethos is a mission statement that succinctly encapsulates their goals, aspirations, and the path they tread in the media industry. CBS Corp, a paramount entity in the broadcasting and media world, operates with a mission to create and distribute industry-leading content across various platforms to inform, entertain, and inspire audiences around the globe.

    Their mission statement, while not explicitly detailed in public documents, can be inferred from their business activities, strategies, and public communications. It revolves around several key principles:

    1. Content Creation and Distribution: CBS Corp prides itself on producing high-quality, compelling content that resonates with diverse audiences. Their mission encompasses not just the creation but also the strategic distribution of content to ensure it reaches the widest possible audience. This includes leveraging traditional broadcasting, digital streaming, and international syndication.

    2. Innovation and Adaptation: In an era where technology and consumer preferences evolve rapidly, CBS Corp emphasizes its commitment to innovation. This principle ensures they stay at the forefront of content delivery methods, embracing new technologies and platforms to enhance the viewer experience.

    3. Inform and Entertain: A dual focus on informing and entertaining the audience is central to CBS Corp's mission. Their portfolio, including news, sports, and entertainment, reflects this commitment to providing a balanced mix of content that not only entertains but also educates and informs the public discourse.

    4. Diversity and Inclusion: Recognizing the importance of diverse voices and stories, CBS Corp is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion within its content, workforce, and business practices. This commitment aims to reflect the diverse society in which we live and ensure that all voices are heard and valued.

    5. Social Responsibility: Beyond entertainment and information, CBS Corp acknowledges its role in the larger social context. Their mission includes a commitment to social responsibility, using their platform to raise awareness, encourage dialogue, and contribute positively to communities.

    In summary, CBS Corp's mission is to be a leading global media company that delights audiences with superior content through innovation, a commitment to diversity, and a dedication to social responsibility. By adhering to these principles, CBS Corp aims not just to succeed in the competitive media landscape but to make a meaningful impact on society.

    How does CBS Corp make money?

    How does CBS Corp make money?

    CBS Corporation, one of the largest media conglomerates in the world, diversifies its revenue across several key streams. Understanding how CBS Corp makes money provides insights into the strategies of major media companies in adapting to changes in consumer behavior and technology. Below are the primary revenue sources for CBS Corp.


    The most traditional and significant source of income for CBS Corp comes from advertising. The company broadcasts a variety of content, including news, sports, and entertainment across its numerous channels. Advertisers pay CBS to showcase their commercials during airtime, with prices depending on the time slot and viewership numbers. Major events like the Super Bowl or popular shows like "NCIS" command premium advertising rates due to their high viewership.

    Content Licensing and Distribution

    CBS Corp generates substantial revenue through content licensing and distribution. The company owns a vast library of television shows and films, which it licenses to cable networks, streaming services, and international broadcasters. This content is either sold in packages or individually, allowing CBS to monetize its back catalog along with current productions. Additionally, syndication deals for reruns of popular shows contribute significantly to this revenue stream.

    Subscription Services

    In response to the shifting media landscape, CBS has invested in direct-to-consumer subscription services. CBS All Access (rebranded as Paramount+), for example, offers live and on-demand access to CBS content, exclusive original series, and content from other ViacomCBS properties. This subscription model provides CBS with a consistent revenue stream, independent of advertising fluctuations and allows the company to directly engage with its audience.

    Affiliate and Subscription Fees

    CBS Corp also earns money from affiliate fees paid by cable, satellite, and streaming providers for the right to broadcast CBS network content. These fees are a significant source of revenue and are negotiated based on the value and viewership of CBS's content. Additionally, the company collects subscription fees for its premium cable channels, such as Showtime, further diversifying its income.

    Merchandising and Licensing

    Merchandising represents another revenue avenue for CBS Corp. The company licenses its show logos, characters, and other intellectual properties for use in merchandise ranging from toys and apparel to books and video games. This not only provides direct revenue from licensing deals but also helps in promoting CBS's content and increasing its visibility.

    In summary, CBS Corp's revenue generation strategies reflect a comprehensive approach to monetizing content across traditional and new media platforms. By leveraging advertising, content licensing, subscription services, affiliate fees, and merchandising, CBS has positioned itself to navigate the complexities of the modern media landscape successfully.

    CBS Corp Business Model Canvas Explained

    Key Partners

    CBS Corp's business model heavily relies on strategic partnerships that enhance its content distribution and advertising reach. Key partners include production companies, cable and satellite providers, streaming platforms, and advertisers. These partnerships are crucial for ensuring wide distribution of CBS content across various channels and formats, thus maximizing viewership and advertising revenue.

    Key Activities

    The core activities of CBS Corp revolve around content creation, distribution, and advertising. The company invests significantly in producing high-quality TV shows, movies, and digital content. Distribution is managed across a variety of channels, including its own network, streaming services, and international syndication. Advertising sales, both traditional and digital, are a critical revenue stream, leveraging the company's extensive content portfolio to attract a wide range of advertisers.

    Value Propositions

    CBS Corp offers diverse value propositions to different stakeholders. For viewers, it provides a wide array of entertainment and news content accessible across multiple platforms. Advertisers are offered a valuable platform to reach a broad and engaged audience, with CBS's content generating significant viewership across demographics. For content creators and partners, CBS represents a powerful distribution network that can amplify reach and revenue potential.

    Customer Relationships

    CBS Corp maintains its customer relationships through consistent engagement and feedback mechanisms across its platforms. It uses social media, customer service channels, and interactive features on its platforms to keep viewers engaged and responsive to their preferences and feedback. For advertisers and content partners, CBS provides dedicated account management and analytics services to optimize performance and returns on investment.

    Customer Segments

    CBS Corp's customer segments include:

    • Viewers: Individuals and households consuming CBS content across various platforms.
    • Advertisers: Businesses seeking to promote their products and services to CBS's audience.
    • Content Creators and Partners: Producers and distributors looking to leverage CBS's network for content distribution.

    Key Resources

    The key resources for CBS Corp include its intellectual property (such as proprietary content and brand), its broadcasting infrastructure (including network operations centers and distribution channels), and its human resources (including talent, creatives, and management).


    CBS Corp delivers its content through multiple channels, including its terrestrial broadcast network, cable television channels, online streaming services (such as CBS All Access), and syndication to other TV networks and digital platforms globally.

    Cost Structure

    The cost structure of CBS Corp is dominated by content production and acquisition costs, distribution and broadcasting infrastructure expenses, marketing and sales costs, and administrative expenses. Investment in technology and innovation to enhance content delivery and viewer experience is also a significant part of the cost structure.

    Revenue Streams

    CBS Corp's revenue streams are diversified across advertising sales, subscription fees (from CBS All Access and other subscription services), content licensing and syndication fees, and affiliate fees from cable and satellite providers. The blend of traditional advertising with emerging digital revenue models underpins CBS's financial sustainability in a rapidly evolving media landscape.

    By understanding the components of CBS Corp's Business Model Canvas, stakeholders can gain insights into the company's strategic approach to navigating the complexities of the contemporary media environment.

    Which companies are the competitors of CBS Corp?

    Which companies are the competitors of CBS Corp?

    CBS Corporation, known for its significant presence in the broadcasting, publishing, and television production sectors, faces competition from several key players across these industries. Understanding the competitive landscape is crucial for grasping how CBS positions itself in the market and strategizes for growth and innovation. Here's a look at some of the main competitors of CBS Corp:

    1. Comcast Corporation

    Comcast is a global media and technology company that operates Comcast Cable as well as NBCUniversal. It serves as a significant competitor to CBS, particularly through its ownership of the NBC broadcast network, numerous cable channels, and the Universal Pictures film studio. Comcast's vast portfolio allows it to compete across multiple fronts, including cable TV, broadcasting, and streaming services.

    2. The Walt Disney Company

    Disney is a diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise, which includes ABC broadcast television network, ESPN, Disney Channels Worldwide, and the recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Disney's broad range of entertainment and media holdings put it in direct competition with CBS, especially in the realms of television broadcasting and content production.

    3. AT&T Inc. (WarnerMedia)

    Before its merger with Discovery to form Warner Bros. Discovery, AT&T's WarnerMedia was a leading competitor, owning and operating the Warner Bros. Entertainment Group, HBO, and Turner Broadcasting System. This includes competition in both the broadcasting and streaming sectors, particularly with HBO Max directly competing with CBS's streaming efforts.

    4. ViacomCBS (Paramount Global)

    It's important to note that CBS Corporation merged with Viacom in December 2019 to become ViacomCBS, now known as Paramount Global. This merger consolidated their assets, including Paramount Pictures, CBS, Showtime Networks, Nickelodeon, MTV, and more, under one umbrella. While this makes them a singular entity, they were competitors before the merger, and the combined company continues to face competition from the companies listed above.

    5. Netflix, Inc.

    Although not a traditional broadcaster, Netflix is a major competitor in the streaming space, offering a wide variety of TV shows, movies, and original content. Its global reach and substantial investment in original content directly challenge CBS's streaming and content production ambitions, making it a formidable competitor in the shift towards digital consumption of entertainment.

    6. Amazon.com, Inc.

    Amazon, primarily through its Amazon Prime Video service, competes with CBS in the streaming market. With a growing library of original content and a vast selection of films and television shows, Amazon Prime Video represents a significant challenge to CBS, especially in attracting and retaining streaming subscribers.

    In conclusion, CBS Corp faces a diverse range of competitors across different segments of the media and entertainment industries. From traditional broadcast rivals to emergent streaming services, understanding these competitive dynamics is essential for analyzing CBS's strategies and market positioning.

    CBS Corp SWOT Analysis


    CBS Corporation, a powerhouse in the media industry, boasts a well-diversified portfolio that spans broadcast television, cable networks, publishing, and digital media platforms. One of its core strengths lies in its strong and popular content library, including hit TV shows and movies, which drives viewer engagement across its various channels and digital platforms. CBS's ability to produce and distribute high-quality content consistently has solidified its position in the competitive media landscape.

    Another significant strength is CBS's robust advertising revenue model. With its broad reach and high ratings, particularly in prime time, CBS has become an attractive platform for advertisers looking to target a wide and engaged audience. This has enabled the company to secure lucrative advertising deals, contributing significantly to its revenue stream.

    Moreover, CBS's strategic acquisitions and partnerships have further bolstered its market position. By acquiring and collaborating with other content creators and distributors, CBS has expanded its content offerings and distribution channels, enhancing its ability to compete in the rapidly evolving media sector.


    Despite its strengths, CBS Corp faces several weaknesses that could hinder its growth and competitiveness. One of the primary concerns is its heavy reliance on advertising revenue, which makes it vulnerable to economic downturns. During periods of economic instability, advertising budgets are often among the first to be cut, which can negatively impact CBS's revenue and profitability.

    Additionally, CBS's traditional broadcast and cable operations are increasingly challenged by the shift towards digital streaming and cord-cutting. As more viewers migrate to online platforms for content consumption, CBS's traditional revenue streams may continue to decline unless it successfully adapts to the changing media consumption landscape.

    Another weakness is the company's exposure to regulatory and legal risks. Operating in the media industry, CBS must navigate a complex web of regulations, which can vary significantly across different regions. Any failure to comply with these regulations can result in hefty fines and damage to the company's reputation.


    The rise of digital streaming presents a significant opportunity for CBS Corp to expand its audience and revenue streams. By continuing to invest in and enhance its streaming platforms, such as CBS All Access, the company can capture a larger share of the growing number of viewers who prefer streaming content over traditional TV viewing.

    Furthermore, international expansion offers another promising avenue for growth. CBS has the potential to leverage its strong content library to enter new markets and attract viewers globally. By tailoring its content and marketing strategies to suit local tastes and preferences, CBS can tap into the vast international audience, driving revenue growth.

    Additionally, the increasing demand for original content opens up opportunities for CBS to capitalize on its content creation capabilities. By developing and producing original shows and movies for its platforms, CBS can differentiate itself from competitors and attract subscribers looking for unique and compelling content.


    One of the most significant threats facing CBS Corp is the intensifying competition in the media and entertainment industry. With tech giants like Amazon, Netflix, and Apple investing heavily in original content and streaming services, CBS must continuously innovate and improve its offerings to retain and grow its viewer base.

    Moreover, the rapid pace of technological change poses a constant threat to CBS's traditional business model. As new technologies emerge, CBS needs to stay ahead of the curve in adopting and integrating these technologies into its operations to meet evolving consumer expectations.

    Lastly, regulatory changes and geopolitical instability can also adversely affect CBS's operations and financial performance. Changes in regulations related to broadcasting, content rights, and data privacy can impose additional costs and restrictions on CBS, while geopolitical tensions can disrupt its international operations.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Ownership of CBS Corp: CBS Corporation, a mass media conglomerate, operates as a subsidiary of Paramount Global, which rebranded from ViacomCBS. This structure places CBS under the umbrella of one of the largest entertainment companies, reflecting its significant role in the media landscape.

    • Mission Statement: CBS Corp is dedicated to creating and distributing industry-leading content across a variety of platforms to audiences worldwide. Its mission revolves around leveraging creative talent and technology to deliver high-quality content and storytelling that informs, entertains, and inspires.

    • Revenue Generation: CBS Corp makes money through multiple streams, including advertising revenue from its broadcast and cable networks, content licensing and distribution fees, and direct-to-consumer subscription services. This diversified approach helps CBS maximize its content monetization across different platforms and markets.

    • Business Model Canvas: The CBS Corp Business Model Canvas highlights its key partners (such as content creators and distributors), activities (like content production and distribution), and value propositions (offering high-quality entertainment and news). It also outlines customer segments (viewers, advertisers), channels (broadcast, online streaming), and revenue streams, providing a comprehensive view of its strategic operations.

    • Competitors and SWOT Analysis: CBS Corp faces competition from other major networks and streaming services, including NBCUniversal, ABC (owned by Disney), Fox Corporation, and streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Its SWOT analysis reveals strengths in robust content creation and a strong brand portfolio, opportunities in digital expansion, weaknesses in dependency on advertising revenue, and threats from increasing competition in the streaming space and changing consumer behaviors.


    In conclusion, CBS Corp, currently owned by National Amusements, under the leadership of Shari Redstone, stands as a testament to media innovation and audience engagement. With a mission statement that emphasizes creating and distributing industry-leading content across a variety of platforms to audiences worldwide, CBS Corp has firmly established itself as a cornerstone in the media industry. The corporation's financial success is largely attributed to its diverse revenue streams, which include advertising, content licensing, and subscription services, as outlined in the Business Model Canvas. This model highlights CBS's strategic approach to leveraging its assets across various platforms and formats to maximize profitability and growth.

    Competing in a landscape with giants like Disney, Comcast, and Netflix, CBS Corp has managed to hold its ground and continue to thrive, thanks to its robust portfolio of content and strategic partnerships. However, the competitive nature of the media industry requires constant innovation and adaptation. The SWOT analysis of CBS Corp reveals a company with strong brand recognition and a solid financial foundation, yet facing challenges such as rapidly changing consumer preferences and the intense competition for viewership.

    As CBS Corp moves forward, it will need to continue leveraging its strengths, such as its high-quality content production and strong distribution network, while addressing its weaknesses and capitalizing on opportunities for growth in the digital realm. The company's ability to navigate the threats posed by competitive pressures and technological advancements will be crucial for its future success. With a clear understanding of its mission, a strategic business model, and an awareness of the competitive landscape, CBS Corp is well-positioned to continue its legacy of entertaining and informing audiences around the globe for years to come.


    What are CBS weaknesses?

    1. Declining viewership: CBS has been experiencing a decline in viewership in recent years, as more viewers are turning to streaming services and digital platforms for their entertainment.

    2. Lack of diversity in programming: CBS has faced criticism for its lack of diversity in its programming, both in terms of on-screen representation and behind-the-scenes staff. This has led to calls for the network to do more to promote diversity and inclusivity in its content.

    3. Dependence on traditional advertising: CBS relies heavily on traditional advertising revenue to support its operations, which has become increasingly challenging in the face of changing media consumption habits and the rise of ad-free streaming services.

    4. Competition from streaming services: CBS faces stiff competition from streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+, which offer a wide range of original and exclusive content that can attract viewers away from traditional television networks.

    5. Aging demographic: CBS has traditionally appealed to an older demographic, which may limit its ability to attract younger viewers and advertisers looking to reach a more diverse audience.

    How can I find a SWOT analysis on a company?

    There are a few ways you can find a SWOT analysis on a company:

    1. Search the company's website: Some companies may have a SWOT analysis available on their website as part of their annual reports or investor presentations. Look for sections such as "Investor Relations," "About Us," or "Corporate Governance."

    2. Use business databases: Business databases like Bloomberg, IBISWorld, or MarketLine provide detailed company profiles including SWOT analysis. You may need a subscription or access through a university or library.

    3. Check financial news websites: Websites like Bloomberg, Reuters, or CNBC often publish SWOT analyses on major companies as part of their financial reporting.

    4. Look for analyst reports: Research reports from investment banks, brokerage firms, and market research companies often include SWOT analysis on companies. You can access these reports through financial websites, research platforms, or by contacting the respective firms directly.

    5. Utilize academic sources: Academic journals and research databases also provide SWOT analyses on companies as part of case studies or industry analysis. You can search for relevant articles using academic search engines like Google Scholar or JSTOR.

    Remember to critically evaluate the sources you find to ensure they are reputable and up-to-date.

    What are the 5 elements of SWOT analysis?

    1. Strengths
    2. Weaknesses
    3. Opportunities
    4. Threats
    5. Trends

    What will be your SWOT analysis for the company?


    1. Strong brand reputation and recognition in the industry
    2. Diverse product portfolio catering to various customer segments
    3. Strong distribution network and presence in multiple markets
    4. Robust financial performance and steady revenue growth
    5. High levels of customer loyalty and satisfaction


    1. Dependence on a few key suppliers for raw materials
    2. Limited presence in emerging markets and potential for expansion
    3. Reliance on traditional marketing channels, with limited digital marketing efforts
    4. High operating costs due to investments in research and development
    5. Limited differentiation from competitors in terms of product offerings


    1. Expansion into new markets and geographical regions
    2. Introduction of innovative products to cater to changing customer preferences
    3. Strategic partnerships and collaborations with other companies in the industry
    4. Increased focus on sustainability and environmental initiatives to attract environmentally-conscious consumers
    5. Leveraging digital marketing strategies to reach a wider audience and drive sales growth


    1. Intense competition from other established brands in the industry
    2. Fluctuating raw material prices and supply chain disruptions
    3. Economic downturns and fluctuations in consumer spending
    4. Regulatory changes and compliance requirements impacting business operations
    5. Changing consumer trends and preferences affecting demand for products.

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