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Les Moonves Promises Showtime Streaming Service ‘in the Not-Too-Distant Future’ But Offers No Details

Moonves admitted that pay TV operators are scared of the possibility that online HBO and Showtime would start subscriber defections.

Leslie Moonves

Showtime will launch a standalone streaming service in the “not too distant future, ” CBS CEO Les Moonves said at a Deutsche Bank Securities 2015 Media, Internet & Telecom Conference.

HBO has already announced this week the April launching of HBO Now, their Netflix-wannabe, on Apple devices and computers (to start). HBO Now will cost $14.99 a month—to Netflix’s $8, but it will offer live feeds, which Netflix doesn’t. You will not have to be a pay TV subscriber.

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It’s hard to say whether Moonves was referring to a real project in the works, or was just shooting the breeze. He definitely didn’t have any details to offer, other than the idea.

According to TVPredictions, Moonves admitted that pay TV operators are scared of the possibility that online HBO and Showtime would start subscriber defections. As if they didn’t know cable TV has been living on borrowed time since the first video was embedded on a Netscape browser.

Moonves revealed that some pay TV distributors plan to run their own online Showtime service.

According to, Moonves told the conference that, following the HBO announcement, “we got a number of calls yesterday from existing players and digital players that we’ve talked to in the past.

He added: “The content we have at Showtime is also premium. I don’t think there’s any way, shape or form for anybody to look [at the HBO move) other than a major positive for premium cable.”

That’s difficult to accept, seeing as ownership of TV sets in America, as well as cable TV subscriptions are falling. According to research firm SNL Kagan, the number of Americans who pay for TV through cable, satellite or fiber services dropped by more than 250, 000 in 2013, suggesting 2012 may have marked cable’s high point, and it’s downhill from there.

Hey, it’s what cable did to broadcast TV — karma still a bitch.

Moonves also said yesterday that CBS Access, launched in October for $5.99 a month, with live network signals and On Demand programming, is doing fabulously.



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