Once again CBS CEO Les Moonves has discussed the rumored Apple television and what part his network might play in it.
Earlier this month Mr. Moonves discussed the Apple television as if it was an already announced product. Speaking with Maria Bartiromo yesterday on CNBC’s Closing Bell, he was asked once again about what part, if any, his company might play with the upcoming TV. Ms. Bartiromo asked, “What about Apple? What should we expect from Apple TV? Will you be participating, working with Apple on the content on Apple TV?” Mr. Moonves replied:
We don’t know yet. There was a story reported, which was true, about Steve Jobs and I discussing putting CBS content on Apple, but we felt he didn’t want it pay for it. What Netflix is paying for right now, they’re giving us hundreds of millions for that content, Steve Jobs wanted us to put the content on and play with him on terms of subscriptions. We didn’t think that was the wisest thing to do. We need to be protective of our content. We make billions in advertising. We make billions in syndication. We make hundreds of millions in retransmission. The idea is to put your content online, that enhances that, doesn’t take away or cannibalize our main business. Our content are the family jewels.
Of all the networks, however, CBS seems to be the one with the least cohesive idea of what it wants to do about online content: CBS isn’t part of the Hulu lineup, they have no dedicated app for any mobile devices and watching content on their site isn’t not exactly pleasant. So just because Mr. Moonves isn’t rushing to work with Apple doesn’t exactly spell doom for the project in my eyes. If we heard this from the other networks that have embraced just about every form of online streaming there is, then I would be concerned. But because this is CBS, I just have to somewhat sit back and say, “figures.”
The portion about Apple begins around the 7:25 mark in the video below.