Former CBS CEO Joe Ianniello and former ViacomCBS Chief Digital Officer Marc DeBevoise have filed with the SEC to create a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).  to target private companies in the media, entertainment and sports sectors that they can merge with, thereby taking that company public, in contrast to a traditional IPO, or a direct listing.

The SPAC, Argus Capital, filed with the SEC on July 22 and they will now go through a review process with the federal regulatory commission that handles public stock regulation.

When that review process is completed and the SEC has deemed Argus to be “effective” then they can commence the IPO. Once the IPO is successfully completed Argus will seek to find companies in their areas of expertise that they believe would be good performing public companies.

The SPAC market has been under a lot of scrutiny from the press, investors and the SEC over the recent months and many SPAC IPOs have been delayed, curtailed or cancelled. Many other SPACs are lined up with approval from the SEC, but are waiting to conduct their IPO. The IPOs provide part of the investment cash needed to fund a proposed merger, along with, usually, a PIPE (private investment in a public entity). Both the IPOs and the PIPEs have become difficult to execute in the last few months in the SPAC markets.

On the bright side many SPACs have performed quite well and have allowed strong companies to go public with the benefits of a SPAC, such as the ability to project out-year earnings, ability to approve your major investors, some certainty with regard to capital raised that will go on the balance sheet, and speed/ease of the process vs. a traditional public IPO.

Argus said in their SEC filing, “Within these (media, entertainment and sports) sectors and other sectors, we seek to partner with late-stage growth companies as well as mature companies with the potential to accelerate growth through organic and transaction-driven strategies,” adding that “we also intend to leverage our management team’s considerable industry relationships to seek out potentially mutually beneficial corporate carve-outs from existing conglomerate companies.”

Viacom VIAB 0.0%CBS VIAC -0.1% announced today a new distribution agreement that adds ViacomCBS content to Hulu’s live TV subscription streaming service, Hulu + Live TV. This distribution arrangement will cover a wide variety of content such as news, entertainment and sports. In all it represents content that will be seen over 14 new channels on the paid Hulu live TV service. This deal is just another example of media companies placing their content on as many possible platforms, and with as many possible business models, as they believe makes sense for their overall business.

The deal was described by ViacomCBS as a “multi-year deal” which includes continued carriage of CBS broadcast stations, CBS Sports Network, Pop TV, Smithsonian Channel, and The CW, as well as continued distribution of ViacomCBS’ premium subscription service, SHOWTIME®. The deal will also introduce fourteen additional ViacomCBS networks to Hulu + Live TV, including BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, VH1, CMT, Nick Jr., TV Land, BET Her, MTV2, NickToons, TeenNick and MTV Classic.

“We are excited to have reached an expanded agreement with Hulu that underscores the value of our powerful portfolio of brands to next-generation TV platforms and viewers,” said Ray Hopkins, President, U.S. Networks Distribution, ViacomCBS. “Hulu continues to be a great partner, and this agreement ensures that Hulu + Live TV subscribers are now able to enjoy the full breadth of our leading content across news, sports and entertainment for the first time.”

The CBS All Access service is generally seen as a successful paid VOD service for CBS. Plans have been announced to expand that service, and presumably substantial Viacom content will go on the new, expanded, ViacomCBS SVOD All Access service, which presumably was worked out with Hulu as part of the deal, though no such arrangements were announced at this time.

The merger of Viacom and CBS last year has brought together two companies which have had different approaches to digital distribution of their content. As TechCrunch points out: “Offering the ViacomCBS cable lineup to live TV streamers represents a different strategy than Viacom had in the past, before the 2019 merger with CBS. In previous years, it allowed a deal with YouTube to fall through, as well as those with other streamers, like the now shuttered PlayStation Vue. In the meantime, the company focused on more traditional carriage agreements with pay TV operators.”

As distributors take on new content, and new costs for their content, it is expected that pricing for various digital packages and alternatives to traditional TV will be changing. For instance, YouTube TV raised pricing by 30% in the middle of last year as it added more content from ViacomCBS channels.

ViacomCBS did not reveal the financial terms of this deal with Hulu. In November Hulu announced that the price for their Live TV service was going up to $65 per month.