CBS: ‘We fought for our digital rights’
CBS CEO Les Moonves told CNBC that an important aspect of its month-long battle with Time Warner Cable was securing the digital future of content. ”It was important we take a stand. This is a stand about content and how content is sold and how it goes to our consumers and how it will be sold in the future when digital viewing could eclipse more traditional forms of television,” said Moonves.
CBS and Time Warner Cable reached a carriage agreement on Monday. Terms were not disclosed, but Moonves said: “One of the things we won, one of the things we were fighting for, is the ability to slice and dice our content all over the place. To put it on Netflix, to put it on Amazon, to let people binge view. That’s our inherent right to do that”. Moonves said that was important as viewing via digital sources increases and potentially surpasses traditional distribution. “I’ve been in the network television business for 30 years. I’ve been hearing about the death of network television and the death of our product. That’s not happening. It’s just changing.”
Moonves said that overall, he was “very pleased with the deal” with Time Warner Cable. He said that he understood that the public probably resented both sides, but that it was important to get fair value for the top rated broadcast network from cable operators via retransmission consent.