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Moonves: Smaller Cable Bundle a Good Thing for CBS

2 Mar, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

CEO says smaller pay-TV offerings need venerable network

As the pay-TV ecosystem faces downsized offerings to consumers in an effort to fight direct-to-consumer video services, CBS CEO Les Moonves isn’t sounding the alarm.

Unlike many of the media company’s peers, CBS does not have a portfolio of niche cable channels at risk of missing out on discounted bundles and OTT video. Speaking March 2 at Morgan Stanley's 2015 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco, Moonves said CBS and premium channel Showtime figure prominently in the new era of content distribution.

The executive said the average cable household gets 150 channels, of which about 12 to 15 are watched regularly. He said CBS is not at risk by the fact channels are increasingly being cut from bundles targeting millennials and other demos engaging in cord-cutting or seeking lower-cost pay-TV options.

So while Dish Network’s recent launch of subscription streaming service Sling TV does not include CBS, the media company last year bowed CBS All Access — a SVOD service — and ad-supported online news service CBSN. It plans to launch a Showtime streaming service later this year.

“For CBS, a smaller bundle is a very good thing,” he said. “No matter what size your bundle is, CBS has to be part of it.”


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