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UPDATE 1-CBS board plans merger talks with Viacom - CNBC

(Adds background, response from both CBS and Viacom, share movement)

May 30 (Reuters) - CBS Corp's board is preparing for merger talks with media company Viacom Inc, CNBC reported on Thursday, citing sources.

The merger talks between the two companies are expected to start in mid-June, the report said, adding that the companies have not yet held discussions.

Both CBS and Viacom declined to comment.

Shares of both companies were up about 4% in early trading on Thursday after the report.

While media majors Walt Disney Co and AT&T Inc are tapping into their extensive film and TV libraries to launch streaming rivals to Netflix and Amazon.com's Prime Video, smaller players CBS and sister company Viacom are focusing on providing original content to other distributors.

Reuters had reported in May that Lions Gates Entertainment also offered to sell cable channel Starz to CBS for $5.5 billion after rebuffing a lower offer.

CBS and Viacom are controlled by National Amusements, which is owned by the Redstone family. (Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)