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CBS CEO: OTT Video Growth Driven by 'Star Trek,' NFL

2 Nov, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

CBS All Access to stream reboot of ‘The Twilight Zone’

In the rapidly evolving distribution of home entertainment, CBS is increasing emphasis on over-the-top video as significant component to linear television.

Speaking Nov. 2 on the third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) fiscal call, CEO Les Moonves said that as more consumers shift from traditional distribution to newer platforms, CBS is growing subscribers with business models employing more-favorable economics. 

Moonves said new sci-fi series “Star Trek: Discovery” has been a game-changer. The premiere episode led to new records for the most CBS All Access signups in a single week, and in the show's second week topped that record.

“Internationally, the show has been a huge hit in many key territories. As a result, we have already renewed ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ for what we know will be a great second season,” Moonves said.

In addition, All Access is streaming a full season of Thursday Night Football for the first time. The network is generating buzz from former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s game analysis.

‘The NFL is still the best thing on television,” Moonves hyped.

Meanwhile, the OTT video service this month will launch a new comedy starring Will Ferrell called “No Activity.” It will debut after the season finale of “Star Trek: Discovery” and be produced by CBS Studios.

In 2018, All Access bows the second season of “The Good Wife” spinoff, “The Good Fight,” along with new Ridley Scott drama “Strange Angel.”

Separately, ad-supported CBS Sports HQ is launching in the near future.

“With ‘Star Trek’ and now ‘Twilight Zone,’ we've just begun to tap the intellectual property we have at our disposal for future series,” said CFO Joe Ianniello. 

Overall, revenue for the quarter increased 3% to $3.2 billion. Affiliate and Showtime Networks subscription fees skyrocketed 52%, aided by the Mayweather-McGregor pay-per-view boxing event.

Net income topped $592 million, up from $478 million during the previous-year period. Net earnings included a non-cash gain of $100 million after spinning off CBS Radio.

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