Apple TV is continuing to push its way into more and more American households, and the content distributors are slowly but surely falling in line. CBS has been ridiculously slow to embrace streaming options, only recently agreeing to allow their content to be sold on Amazon and Netflix. And according to AllThingsD, CBS’ Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves has declared publicly that he’d be willing to place their programming on Apple TV as well.
He brought it up during the company’s quarterly earnings call in response to an analyst’s question. Moonves declared that Apple TV was a part of the company’s plans, and a partnership was certainly possible. Of course, he was quick to point out that the deal would have to make sense for CBS. And as with all things in big business, that comes down to the money.
When the analyst pushed Moonves for further detail, he mentioned a lot of the same issues that traditional networks have complained about for a while now, including how syndication is handled online, how the digital distribution affects advertising revenue, and what impact the added broadcasts would make on the earning power of rebroadcasting a current show.
Moonves went on to compare the potential of Apple TV to their deals with Amazon and Netflix, which were handled to his satisfaction. It appears that the issue may be how each company views the content. According to Moonves, he doesn’t want to give a potential competitor his own programming if it helps them get stronger. And he clearly hasn’t been satisfied with Apple’s answers yet.
The fact that CBS finally reached an agreement with Hulu this week is an encouraging sign. Even though CBS has turned down Apple several times already, Moonves may simply be coming to the inevitable conclusion: people don’t want to be told when they can watch their shows anymore. On demand is the future, and they’re going to have to get in line eventually or risk losing their audience to those that beat them there.