CBS Planning 24-Hour 'Entertainment Tonight' Streaming Service30 Nov, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel
CBS is reportedly planning to launch an over-the-top video service based on its “Entertainment Tonight” (ET) brand, CEO Les Moonves told a media conference.
Speaking Nov. 29 at Variety’s Innovate confab in Beverly Hills, Calif., Moonves said the ad-supported ET service would join a growing portfolio of consumer-direct digital services, including CBS All Access, CBSN and pending CBS Sports OTT video venture.
“We’ve talked about next year launching a 24-hour entertainment news service,” Moonves said.
Launched in 1981, “ET” claims to be the No. 1 syndicated entertainment news show. Earlier this year, the show — hosted by Nancy O’Dell and Kevin Frazier — named two-time Emmy nominee Keltie Knight as its newest correspondent.
Moonves is buoyed by the fact CBS All Access and Showtime OTT have generated two million paying subscribers each — more than six months ahead of projections.
Indeed, the CEO attributed exclusive access to original content “Star Trek: Discovery” and “The Good Fight” for driving $5.99 All Access sub growth.
“We’re way over four [million and] ahead of schedule, so the plan is working,” Moonves said.
Notably, he said the ad-supported sports streaming service would be limited to scores, news and highlights — with select live game action (“Thursday Night Football”) restricted to All Access and pay-TV.
While admitting the Thursday edition of the NFL “isn’t doing so well” in ratings, Moonves said there a no plans to expand digital access beyond All Access.
“The sports-branded streaming service … will not be something you’ll watch a football game on,” he said.