CBS considering ad-free version of All Access, says talks with Apple over OTT are dead

Looking to better compete in an SVOD business that is increasingly commercial-free, CBS Corp. Executive Chairman Les Moonves told investors that his company is pondering the launch of an ad-free version of CBS All Access.

The service would charge consumers an additional $4 a month in subscription costs over the current All Access rate of $5.99 a month. Hulu, All Access' closest rival, launched an ad-free version in September, charging customers an extra $4 over the $7.99 for Hulu Plus.

During CBS' fourth-quarter earnings call Thursday, Moonves said the ad-free version of Hulu "hasn't worked that well." He added that CBS is merely "exploring" the option. "We're not there yet."

CBS saw a 6.2 percent rise in fourth-quarter revenue to $3.91 billion, driven by what it said where rises in content licensing and distribution. The programmer was forecasted by analysts to bring in $3.79 billion for the quarter. 

"We had a terrific fourth quarter and CBS is now in position to build strong momentum throughout 2016," Moonves said, citing CBS' huge ratings for Super Bowl 50. 

Meanwhile, speaking to CNN Money this week, Moonves said active talks last year with Apple regarding a new live-streaming service have broken down.

"We had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," Moonves said. When asked when Apple might launch a streaming service, the CEO denied any knowledge. "You'll have to ask Apple that. I don't know that."

For more:
- read this Hollywood Reporter story
- read this CNN Money story

Related articles:
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Moonves in line to succeed Redstone as CBS Corp. chairman: report

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