November 6, 2014
CBS announced yesterday that it would likely offer programming from premium cabler Showtime via a streaming service for viewers who do not pay for TV subscriptions. The move follows the launch of a service for the CBS broadcast network and news of HBO’s standalone service. Meanwhile, CBS News is expected to announce a video streaming service today. CBSN will reportedly be distributed via broadband as an effort to attract viewers who are increasingly turning to social media and mobile devices for their news.
“Programmers such as CBS and Time Warner Inc.’s HBO are aggressively looking for new ways to reach viewers that may be eschewing traditional cable and satellite television,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “CBS also said it had reached an agreement to have its content streamed on a new over-the-top video service being launched by Sony Corp.”
CEO Les Moonves told analysts during yesterday’s third quarter earnings call that CBS revenue is up 2 percent, with revenue for the cable networks unit up 4.7 percent. Growth of the company’s TV business came largely from content licensing and subscription fees paid by pay TV operators.
Moonves said that Showtime would “fairly definitively” have an OTT Web offering in 2015.
Launch of a CBS News streaming video offering was described by Jim Lanzone, president and chief exec of CBS Interactive, at a conference in Ireland. A number of correspondents from CBS News, including Jeff Glor and Elaine Quijano, are expected to take part in the venture.
“The new-tech service would give CBS more of a foothold in what has become a minute-by-minute churn of news and information being issued from breaking-news bots on Twitter as well as the usual cable-news suspects, like Fox News, CNN or Al Jazeera America,” reports Variety. “Getting up to speed in a new era of broadband-distributed content is paramount for TV-news players, who are seeing their audiences defect to social media and mobile devices to get the latest developments in sports, weather, business and news of national and international import.”