While the lack of availability of NFL programming has been considered a glaring hole in his company's CBS All Access SVOD product, CBS Executive Chairman Les Moonves said he expects to carve out a deal with the pro football league soon.
"We will get a deal," he told an audience of investment analysts Monday at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. He added, however, "We're doing fine without it."
The latter assertion is debatable, given that CBS hasn't released audience metrics for its 18-month-old SVOD platform, which includes pretty much every current and archival program except NFL games.
CBS pays more than $1 billion a year for rights to show NFL Sunday games, as well as some of the league's Thursday-night games. Yet, the network does not have streaming rights.
Speaking more broadly about the All Access platform, Moonves also revealed that CBS' Star Trek reboot — which will notably run exclusively on the SVOD service — was also sought after by Netflix and other SVOD rivals.
"Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, they all offered us a lot of money," Moonves said. "They all wanted it very badly. We could have taken the quick bucks from Netflix but it shows we're investing in a property we really believe in the future."
Finally, addressing the future of CBS Corp. assets in an unstable multichannel world, Moonves boldly proclaimed his company's endurance.
"You cannot live without CBS," he said. "It's not a channel that people can cut off. We're going to be in every home, on every device and therefore we're not subjected to" cord shavers dropping the network from their channel bundles."
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