• 1928

    William S. Paley acquires United Independent Broadcasters Inc., a network of 16 independent radio stations, and changes the name to Columbia Broadcast System (CBS).

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  • 1931

    CBS’ first television station, W2XAB, begins broadcasting.

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  • 1937

    CBS is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.


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    The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan's Financial District

  • 1940

    W2XAB transmits the first color TV broadcast in the United States from a transmitter atop the Chrysler building.


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    The Chrysler Building in Manhattan, New York City

  • 1948

    WCAU-Philadelphia is the first CBS Television Network affiliate. Within the year, there are 30 affiliated stations

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  • 1954

    CBS creates an official news division: CBS News.

  • 1956

    "As the World Turns," the first half-hour serial in television history, premieres.

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  • 1956

    CBS broadcasts its first Masters®, which later becomes the longest-running annual sports event presented on one network.


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    CBS' broadcast of the The Masters in 1956

  • 1960

    CBS is the first network to broadcast the Olympics in the United States, with the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, Calif.

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  • 1961

    CBS Sports becomes a division of the CBS Television Network.

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  • 1967

    CBS begins broadcasting all of its programs in color.

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  • 1970

    Viacom, a division of CBS, becomes incorporated.

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  • 1976

    Viacom launches Showtime, beginning the company’s foray into cable TV.


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    Showtime launches

  • 1979

    Nickelodeon launches with its first original program, "Pinwheel."


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    "Pinwheel" on Nickelodeon

  • 1981

    MTV makes its debut as a cable channel.

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  • 1985

    VH1, MTV’s sister channel, launches.

  • 1991

    Viacom launches Comedy Central on April 1—April Fool’s Day.

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  • 1992

    MTV debuts "The Real World," the network’s pioneering reality TV series.

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  • 1993

    Viacom acquires major Hollywood studio Paramount Pictures.


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    Paramount Studio Lot in Los Angeles

  • 1997

    CBS Corporation is established, uniting CBS and Westinghouse Electric Corporation.

  • 1999

    Viacom acquires CMT.

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  • 1999

    “SpongeBob Squarepants” premieres and becomes the longest-running show on Nickelodeon.


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    "SpongeBob SquarePants" on Nickelodeon

  • 2000

    The Viacom and CBS merger is complete. The Company is now known as Viacom Inc.

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  • 2001

    Viacom acquires BET.

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  • 2005

    Viacom launches Logo, the first ad-supported TV channel aimed at the LGBT community.

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  • 2005

    The Viacom Board of Directors approves the creation of two separate publicly traded companies – CBS Corporation and Viacom Inc.

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  • 2007

    Viacom 18, one of India’s fastest growing entertainment networks, is founded.

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  • 2008

    EPIX forms.

  • 2014

    CBS News launches 24/7 digital streaming news network CBSN.

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  • 2015

    CBS All Access, CBS’ subscription OTT streaming service, debuts.

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  • 2016

    Viacom acquires Argentinian TV network Telefe.

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  • 2016

    Bob Bakish is named CEO of Viacom.

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  • 2019

    Viacom acquires free, ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV.

  • 2019

    Viacom and CBS reunite in $12 billion merger.

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  • 2021

    ViacomCBS rebrands CBS All Access as Paramount+.


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    Paramount+, ViacomCBS' launches premier streaming service, launches