CBS will offer a streaming package that combines its two current standalone internet TV offerings, CBS All Access and Showtime’s over-the-top service beginning next week, Chairman and CEO Les Moonves said on the company’s first-quarter earnings call Thursday afternoon.
“Starting next week, we will begin offering All Access and Showtime as a combined package for the very first time,” Moonves said.
The broadcast boss also credited those two streaming services for a significant boost in one of CBS’ main lines of business.
“Affiliate and subscription fees are also beginning to benefit materially from CBS All Access and Showtime OTT,” he said.
Moonves declined to share current All Access or Showtime over-the-top subscriber numbers, but said the company is on pace to hit its goal of 8 million between the two by 2020. At an event closed to media in February, he said Showtime’s streaming service had already reached 1.5 million subscribers with All Access not far behind. And Moonves is embracing the “skinny bundle” future, as internet live TV services continue to proliferate.
“As these new players continue to come on the scene, it’s the must-have content that will thrive,” Moonves said. “This is what will separate the wheat from the chaff.”
And of course, he identified his network as core to that essential programming, saying that with CBS and Showtime on new streaming services including Google’s YouTube TV and Hulu’s just-launched live TV service, CBS isn’t impacted by the increase in cord-cutting.
“For any bundle to be truly successful, it must have CBS,” he said. “We are not affected in any way by the change in subscription numbers in the industry.”
Later in the call, Moonves demurred from an analyst’s attempt to draw out a current All Access subscriber number — saying the 1.5 million number was in the ballpark — and pointed out the effect of adding NFL games to the service, which CBS did at the tail end of last year. There were only two weeks of games remaining, but Moonves said they had a significant impact on new subscribers.
“It spiked a lot those two weeks,” Moonves said, adding the was excited about the ability to promote a full season of NFL on All Access.