The board of CBS is preparing for deal talks with Viacom: Sources

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The board of CBS is preparing for talks with Viacom, people familiar with situation said.

The merger talks between the two are expected to begin in mid-June, though discussions could begin even sooner, the sources said. Viacom CEO Robert Bakish would likely run the combined entity.

Though no talks have occurred yet, Shari Redstone, Vice Chair of CBS and Viacom has long been in favor of marrying the two as the former looks to bulk up its balance sheet. The scale would likely help CBS compete for National Football League broadcast rights as it fights against big technology companies like Amazon and Facebook.

Big media has for years seen marked carriage fees hikes, making it more difficult for such companies as viewers ditch cable and satellite TV subscriptions in favor of over-the-top and streaming options.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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