Moonves Digs Virtual MVPDs, Incumbents that Embrace Addressable Advertising

With IP-based video services from tech giants like Apple offering to pay CBS Corp. license fees that are higher than the volume discounts offered to incumbents like Comcast Corp. and AT&T, it’s not surprising that CBS CEO Les Moonves likes new distribution platforms.

Moonves“Any time there’s a new bundle that you hear about out there, you can assume CBS is applauding it because we are going to get paid more than we get paid by traditional MVPD,” Moonves told analysts Wednesday.

And while CBS is beginning top direct-to-consumer revenue streams with the launch of over-the-top services CBS All Access and a mobile application offering a standalone version of Showtime, Moonves emphasized that CBS would continue to team up with incumbent distributors that can help it deliver addressable, or targeted advertising.

“What Comcast is doing, what Dish is doing, the addressability is absolutely becoming clearer and clearer, and that’s only good news for us. The more they know, the more we’re going to be able to sell.”

For years, CBS and Showtime have made a business of distributing pay-per-view boxing events to multichannel providers that have traditionally split event revenue. But Moonves said he sees potential to eventually distribute pay-per-view events directly to consumers, which would allow CBS and boxing promoters to eliminate the share of event revenue paid to affiliates.

“Looking forward, as you have digital assets that you own yourself, you could look even further out at putting it directly to the consumer, and we keep 100 cents of the dollar. That is something that obviously is coming,” Moonves said.

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