Moonves: ‘The Floodgate Is Now Open’ for OTTs

By Karen Fratti 

les moonvesCBS’s subscription service is doing well, according to Les Moonves, who spoke at the Deutsche Bank 2015 Media, Internet and Telecom Conference  this morning. While he wouldn’t disclose an exact number, Moonves says the service is doing “extremely well” and has more users than Dish’s Sling. CBSN, their OTT for news, is also keeping its head above water.

He cites cord cutters and superfans as the biggest market for OTTs. And while CBS might skew older, you really can’t live without a little network television, right? Mooves said:

The days of the 150 channels in the home are not over, but people will continue to slice and dice the pay TV bundle…You can’t live without CBS.

He’s also a big fan of the HBO- Apple TV announcement this week, saying:

Other than a little bit of consternation from the existing [pay TV companies], I don’t see how anybody cannot view this as a positive for HBO and also a positive for Showtime. There is going to be more revenue…I applaud the showmanship of Apple and HBO.

Right now, CBS All Access is only available in 14 markets, though they are rolling out nationally soon. Showtime will launch its own OTT service, “in the near future,” so its nice for Moonves to learn from HBO’s mistakes once it goes live. CBS All Access is only $5.99 a month, which is much better than HBO’s $14.99. Let’s hope Showtime is priced just under and available across devices. That would be showmanship.