Les Moonves tells analysts he does not view Netflix as a competitor
Les Moonves sees Netflix as a buyer, not a threat.
On Wednesday, the CBS chief executive officer told analysts that the network is in talks to produce an original series for the subscription service.
"Until they are doing 22 hours a week of premium content, we do not look at them as a competitor, but rather another place to put our content," Moonves said on a conference call following CBS' fourth quarter earnings announcement.
His attitude contrasts with other entertainment honchos that view Netflix's entry into original programming as a direct threat.
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, for instance, pejoratively labeled Netflix a “200-pound chimp" and the "Albanian Army.”
Certain TV execs fear that Netflix might encourage viewers and particularly cable subscribers to shun television for streaming services.
Netflix launched its first original series, "Lilyhammer," two weeks ago. It also has "House of Cards," a political series starring Kevin Spacey, and new episodes of the cult series "Arrested Development" in the pipeline.
Perhaps Moonves' bonhomie is attributable to a strong earnings report. Profits at CBS surged 17 percent to $384 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, capping off a year in which its net income nearly doubled.
Steve Swasey, a spokesman for Netflix, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.