The CBS boss said Thursday he expects to announce CBS All Access carriage deals with affiliates, in which they would share some portion of the monthly fee, “in the fairly near future.”
CBS boss Les Moonves characterized negotiations with affiliates on CBS All Access as “fairly far down the road” during Thursday’s fourth-quarter results conference call, adding that he’s “optimistic that all the affiliates are on board.”
CBS All Access is a $5.99 a month streaming service featuring live programming from CBS O&Os as well as video on demand programming from the CBS library but not NFL football.
Moonves said he expects to announce carriage deals with affiliates, in which they would share some portion of the monthly fee, “in the fairly near future.”
Joe Iannello, COO, noted that CBS is negotiating OTT offerings with Sony and Dish and that NFL programming is included in those packages. He characterized negotiations with those carriers as “ongoing.”
CBS also is taking a hard look at the FCC spectrum auction, Moonves said. Iannello noted that recently updated estimates on station values put the median valuation for the four independent stations CBS owns in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Boston at about $2 billion.
“Obviously, this is a hidden asset in our portfolio,” Iannello said. “As we study and learn more about the auction process, we will evolve our strategy.”
CBS’s “local broadcasting” segment, which include O&O television and radio stations, showed a 9% increase in revenues and a 19% increase in OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization), much of that attributable to political advertising, higher retrans payments and fees from subscription services.
Moonves was optimistic about the advertising atmosphere, saying pacings are building “week in and week out.” Iannello said the scatter market is up high single digits so far in the first quarter.
Moonves wasn’t questioned directly about recent reports that he may be looking at buying CBS.
But when asked about CBS’s approach to industry consolidation, he said, “We’re feeling pretty strong about ourselves and don’t need any partners.”