One of the hottest stories of the past few weeks has been AT&T’s new DirecTV Now streaming service. We went hands-on with the service last week and noted of one major holdout in terms of channel availability: CBS. Now, however, CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves has hinted that the two companies are in talks…
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Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications conference, Moonves explained that he very much thinks CBS will make a deal with AT&T to join the platform, but wouldn’t offer up specifics. “I’m assuming we’ll be able to a deal with them,” the CBS boss said. “As they said in The Godfather, ‘We are not unreasonable people here.'”
CBS is a notable holdout from DirecTV Now, which offers content from other major networks like ABC, Fox and NBC. At the time of unveiling, AT&T penned the lack of CBS content on the network’s unreasonable retransmission fees.
In addition to talking about DirecTV Now, Moonves also addressed the rumored YouTube streaming TV package, believed to be called YouTube Unplugged. Moonves used some restraint here, though, only saying ““it, uh, hasn’t been announced yet,” when asked about the service (via The Verge).
Moonves was an early proponent of Apple’s long-rumored streaming TV service that never actually came to fruition. Moonves talked of the service on several different occasions, once noting that the streaming platform would “probably” carry CBS. Moonves also noted that CBS was “very excited” about Apple’s platform and had engaged in “ongoing conversation” with Apple for the platform.
Moonves has become notorious for talking about both agreements and services prior to their announcement. In 2012, Mooneves explained that he was negotiating with Steve Jobs, spilling the beans over an earnings call regarding Apple’s streaming service.
CBS also offers its own streaming service called All Access, which Moonves spoke of at the same event today:
“What our goal has been with All Access, with being part of skinny bundles, with being part of the larger bundles… No matter how you want your content, we will be available in one form or another.”
With CBS being one of the biggest holdouts of DirecTV Now, today’s comments from Moonves should help calm the fears of some skeptics. Though, the comments should be taken with a grain of salt considering Moonves seems to have a problem with spilling the beans a bit too early when it comes to streaming services…