August 11, 2014
CBS is reportedly working on shows intended for Internet distribution only, via services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Instant Video. The new approach would allow CBS to sell its reruns to online video services in addition to new shows for exclusive streaming. During a Q2 earnings call last week, CEO Les Moonves announced that CBS “will be producing more and more shows for more and more outlets, including major streaming companies and other emerging distributors.”
During the past year, CBS has signed licensing deals with Netflix and Amazon.
“This isn’t the first time that Moonves has floated the idea,” reports Re/code. “In February 2012, he told analysts that CBS might produce a show for Netflix, which had just gotten into the originals business. But that show never materialized.”
Streaming services have typically commissioned studios to produce series and then purchased the rights to exclusively air the shows for a specific window of time.
“The move to sell shows directly to streaming services comes along with a general trend towards making more original series, which have become very popular with the resurgence in high-quality television,” notes The Verge.
“Demand is high for new TV shows, and CBS Studios already has the means to fill that demand — even if CBS itself doesn’t own enough channels on which to show them. The Internet also offers a venue for more niche programming that would otherwise be passed over for network television.”