YouTube Inks CBS to Pending Online TV Service19 Oct, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Google-owned YouTube has reportedly signed a carriage agreement with CBS for a pending online TV service launching in 2017. The Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox also are in negotiations to offer select channels to the service, which is expected to launch in the first quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deals.
The unnamed service would join a growing field of so-called “skinny bundle” online TV services following the launch of Dish Network’s Sling TV, Charter’s Spectrum TV Plus and Sony’s PlayStation Vue last year.
In the fourth quarter, AT&T will bow DirecTV Now, a subscription-based Web TV platform, while Hulu — which is owned by Disney, Fox, Comcast and Time Warner — plans to launch its own TV service in the first quarter.
Notably, Apple had planned to launch its own Internet TV service, but reportedly shelved the idea when it refused networks’ carriage demands.
CBS CEO Les Moonves has long boasted that no online TV service can work without the network’s programming. At the same time, he has rebuffed previous third-party efforts at launching streaming video services (i.e. Hulu) on the back of CBS programming.
“Clearly, the [linear TV channel] bundle is changing,” Moonves told attendees in March at Deutsche Bank 2015 Media, Internet & Telecom confab in Los Angeles.
He said the traditional pay-TV channel bundle is being “sliced and diced” to fit changing consumer viewing habits, which he said includes broadband-only households, commonly referred to as millennials.
Moonves contends online TV will be the death of the DVR as viewers pay only for the channels they’re interested in, including catch-up functionality. That’s part of the rationale behind the launch of CBS All Access — the $5.99 service that offers subscribers access to new and catalog shows.
“You can’t live without CBS,” Moonves said.