According to Gigaom, CBS CEO Les Moonves let slip on his company’s earnings call that CBS had rejected the idea of joining an Apple TV streaming deal because it was based on an ad revenue split.
Apple had long been rumored to be working on a subscription streaming service that would stream content from multiple TV networks and compete against traditional cable and satellite services. That product never came to fruition, as Apple apparently could not convince enough content providers to join. There had not been any public confirmation of such an offering ever being proposed until Moonves’ comments today.
CBS has long had a philosophy of getting paid upfront for streaming of its content online, as opposed to partnering on revenue-sharing agreements. Earlier this year, CBS made deals with both Netflix and Amazon to make classic library content like Cheers and The Wonder Years available on their services. Also The CW, its joint venture with Time Warner, recently licensed its shows out to Netflix and Hulu. According to Moonves those deals would turn The CW from “a money loser to a profitable venture”.
Consumer demand for streaming content continues to grow, and Moonves said he feels good about making money from online distribution regardless of which distributor wins.