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CBS may supply ‘pay Hulu’

May 2, 2012

With Hulu reportedly planning to move toward requiring users to prove that they have a pay TV subscription, CBS says it will take another look at potential content deals with Hulu.

“We will take a look at it under the authentication model,” said CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves, who has in the past questioned the wisdom of fellow media companies’ ownership stakes in and licensing deals with Hulu. But when asked at his company’s quarterly earnings conference call, he also emphasized, “Right now we are very pleased with our digital strategy without Hulu.”

Added Moonves: “We are doing extremely well being nonexclusive with the Netflix and the Amazon deals and, more importantly, with our site, where we keep 100 per cent, 100 cents on the dollar.”

When the authentication-focused Hulu comes out, “we will, of course, have a conversation with them,” Moonves said. “On the CW side, we are doing business with Hulu Plus right now. So we do talk to them, but right now we are very happy with our strategy.”

CBS Corp. reported an 80 per cent gain in profits during a record-setting first quarter, helped by revenue from streaming rights deals. Net income was $363 million, up from $202 million, a year ago. Operating income was up 47 per cent to $642 million. Revenues rose 12 per cent to $3.9 billion.

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