Les Moonves: Cord-Cutting ‘Is a Good Thing for CBS’

“Cord cutters… are not going into the woods and avoiding television,” broadcast boss says

Go ahead and cut the cord, millennials. See if Les Moonves cares.

“When ESPN announces that they’re losing subs, or Comcast announces they’re losing subs — that’s a good thing for CBS,” the CBS chief said Thursday morning at Goldman Sachs Communicopia. “These cord-cutters — they’re not disappearing. They’re not… cutting their cord and going into the woods and avoiding television. They’re just going to other services.”

“For CBS, this is positive news,” Moonves explained.

That optimism is backed by the fact that Moonves now has the streaming video-on-demand service CBS All Access under his (golf-sized) umbrella, a platform launched specifically for this new era of watching television. The broadcaster is also prepping an over-the-top sports streaming service for the same reason.

Plus, Moonves runs America’s most-watched broadcast channel, which is free over-the-air anyway. In other words, cut the cord, but don’t take down the antennae.

And then there are the financial benefits to these new-fangled forms of viewing. While Moonves’ CBS makes $2-plus per subscriber per month from a traditional MVPD, the company actually gets $4/mo. per sub in a skinny bundle and $6/mo. out of All Access subscribers. In other words, Moonves will hand you the wire-cutters himself.

Of course, the CBS chairman and CEO also oversees Showtime, so maybe don’t cut that cord too deeply.

Even that premium cable channel is now available through alternative means, however, like Hulu and All Access. So, yeah, CBS is feeling good about the future.

Read more from Moonves’ chatty morning here.