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December 11, 2010 / Matt Gerardi

CBS CEO Pledges to Withhold Content From Streaming Services and Boxes

Les Moonves, CEO of CBS, said on Tuesday, “We are a primary provider of premium content. We are going to get paid for it.” (MediaWeek)

Moonves was speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference and referring primarily to Google TV, a service from which Moonves has had his company’s content withheld.

“I’m not sure what it is. I’m not sure what it will do to our business,” Moonves said about the budding service.

What he is sure about locking Google TV out from CBS content until Google starts paying.

CBS is not the only content provider that has blocked Google TV’s access to its online streaming shows. All four major networks are currently restricting access to their content, whether it be own their own websites or Hulu, which CBS is the only major network not affiliated with.

CBS’ involvement with Hulu doesn’t seem to be coming any time soon. Moonves said, “Who knows what the future of Hulu is?” and implied he believes it will become a subscription-only service.

If you ask me this all makes Moonves look very bad. He’s coming off as unaware of the digital options that his viewers are turning to for their media consumption. In the next few years linear programming will only continue to decrease in popularity as streaming services like Hulu and Netflix grow. Executives like Moonves who, to borrow a phrase he himself used in the talk, have their heads in the sand are going to be the death knell of old media.

Maybe this isn’t so far off….


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