CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves today hinted that DirecTV Now will eventually add his company’s programming to its channel lineup. “I’m assuming we’ll be able to make a deal with them,” he said when the subject of AT&T’s new internet TV service came up. “As they said in The Godfather, ‘We are not unreasonable people here.’’
DirecTV Now already offers programming from the other big broadcast networks — ABC, Fox, and NBC — as part of its base subscription. But CBS and its popular shows like The Big Bang Theory, Survivor, and NCIS are an obvious hole for something that’s meant to be an alternative to cable television. For now, AT&T doesn’t think whatever CBS wants for retransmission fees is all that reasonable.
Moonves was speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications conference. “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.” When asked for an update on how many subscribers CBS All Access has picked up so far, Moonves pointed back to the 1 million figure announced in July and declined to provide a current total.
He also confirmed that CBS is in discussions to put its shows on YouTube’s upcoming internet TV product, rumored to be called YouTube Unplugged. “It, uh, hasn’t been announced yet,” said Moonves. The CBS boss has never used much caution in talking about unannounced projects from other companies, having referenced Apple’s stalled web TV service at numerous points.