Viacom Inc. (known professionally as Viacom (/ˈvaɪəkɒm/ VY-ə-kom) and stylized as vıacom) is an American multinational media conglomerate with interests primarily in cinema and cable television. It is currently the world's sixth largest broadcasting and cable company in terms of revenue—behind Comcast, The Walt Disney Company, Time Warner, and CBS Corporation, but ahead of 21st Century Fox. Voting control of Viacom is held by National Amusements, Inc., a privately owned theater company controlled by the billionaire Sumner Redstone. Redstone also holds – via National Amusements – a controlling stake in CBS Corporation.
The current incarnation of Viacom was created on December 31, 2005 as a spin-off from the original incarnation of Viacom, which was renamed as CBS Corporation after the spin-off. CBS Corporation currently retains control of the over-the-air broadcasting, TV production, subscription pay television (with Showtime Networks) and publishing assets (with Simon & Schuster), which were previously owned by the original Viacom. Predecessor firms of the original Viacom included Gulf+Western (which later became Paramount Communications) and Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Comprising BET Networks, Viacom Media Networks and Paramount Pictures, the current Viacom operates approximately 170 networks, reaching approximately 700 million subscribers in approximately 160 countries.