CBS CEO: All Access, Showtime OTT global expansion ‘very possible in not-too-distant future’

CBS CEO Les Moonves

CBS CEO Les Moonves likes the chances that CBS All Access and Showtime OTT will go global soon.

Speaking today at a Deutsche Bank investor conference, Moonves said there is a long-term opportunity internationally for both services and that selling the services on a combined basis could make sense.

“It’s very possible something could happen in the not-too-distant future,” Moonves said.


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Of course, licensing content overseas is still a big money maker for CBS and could deter the broadcaster from launching its OTT services internationally. Moonves said international licensing showing “astonishing” growth each year.

Last year, CBS signed a deal with Netflix for international distribution on Netflix’s platform for the upcoming “Star Trek: Discovery” series, which is exclusive to CBS All Access in the U.S.

RELATED: Showtime OTT hits 1.5M subs, CBS All Access not far behind

Once again, Moonves declined to provide updated subscriber numbers for All Access and Showtime OTT, simply saying that both services are performing “better than expected.” In January, he reportedly told the audience at an event closed to the media that Showtime OTT had reached 1.5 million and that All Access wasn’t far behind. Today, he did says that Showtime was doing slightly better than All Access in terms of subscribers.

As far as continuing toward the 8 million total OTT subscribers CBS predicted the services will have by 2020, Moonves said the services are on track to hit that number and that originals like “Star Trek” and the recently launched “The Good Fight” will get them there.

Looking ahead to more All Access original series, Moonves said CBS is primarily looking at scripted shows with a similar profile to what they’re doing at Showtime.

Moonves also talked about CBS’s recent decision to release its Total Content Ratings from Nielsen ahead of its 2017 upfronts. He said that CBS is a “true believer” in Nielsen’s controversial new Total Audience Measurement products and that those numbers will play a role during this upfront.

“People that are doing well want total count, people that aren’t want shades of gray,” Moonves said.

Last year during upfronts, Moonves said C7 ratings were about 50-50 will digital. This year he expects that balance to tilt more toward C7.

Looking ahead, Moonves is expecting many more multi-platform deals as CBS content’s value extends out as much as 30 days because of time-shifted viewing. “It’s important we get paid for all of that,” he said, adding that people don’t look at overnight ratings anymore but clarifying that broadcast is still where you get the most bang for the buck.

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