CBS COO Joe Ianniello said that CBS local affiliate stations' live streams are available for CBS All Access in “virtually” all markets.
Speaking on Thursday at a Wells Fargo investor conference, Ianniello wouldn’t commit to saying the feature was available everywhere but said it was mostly nationwide. Still, he said that it’s on-demand content, not live streaming, that’s driving the majority of viewing on the CBS All Access platform.
Despite local live streaming’s lessened impact within CBS All Access, Ianniello praised the affiliate model and its role in All Access.
“We like the affiliate model. We’re a defender of the model,” Ianniello said. “There’s room for the broadcasters to prosper in the $5.99 All Access model.”
The local live streaming available within the All Access product is a way for broadcasters to get their content onto mobile, which is a feature that’s helping drive the push for ATSC 3.0. As Sinclair Broadcast Group Chairman David Smith pointed out during the NAB Show New York happening this week, 70 percent of advertising is on mobile and broadcasters need to get a piece of that in order to grow and thrive.
As plans around ATSC 3.0 deployments slowly materialize ahead of next year’s expected release of the finalized standards, CBS broadcast affiliates right now are finding their way into mobile-centric offerings like Google’s Unplugged and the upcoming DirecTV Now.
Ianniello said that CBS plans to be a part of all upcoming live TV streaming services and that it’s in active discussions with all the services it hasn’t yet announced deals with. But he said that those negotiations from the more traditional SVOD distribution deals CBS has done. For live streaming deals including local access to CBS affiliate broadcasts, Ianiello said the negotiations can be more difficult in markets where CBS does not have an O&O station.
But Ianniello seemed confident that CBS would get deals done with all the upcoming TV services, stating it’s too early to pick and choose because CBS doesn’t know which services will be the most successful.
“We don’t want to hitch our wagon to just one service,” Ianniello said.