Top US TV network CBS to offer international streaming services

NEW YORK, 8 Aug 2017: 

CBS Corp is taking its streaming service abroad and launching an online sports service to appeal to the growing number of viewers who prefer to watch their favourite shows online, executives said yesterday.

CBS, owner of the most-watched US TV network, will launch its CBS All Access service internationally in the first half of next year – starting in Canada, the company said as part of second-quarter earnings.

The New York-based broadcaster is also planning to launch an online streaming sports service, which is yet to be named, announced CBS CEO Leslie Moonves on a post-earnings call.

CBS said it will have more than four million streaming subscribers between All Access and its Showtime streaming service by year-end. The company had previously said it was anticipating eight million subscribers by 2020, a goal it now said is conservative.

Expanding its online streaming services is part of a push by CBS, whose shows include The Big Bang Theory and Homeland, to decrease its reliance on advertising as more viewers go online.

CBS yesterday reported that 40% of its total revenue is from advertising, down from more than 70% 10 years ago. “Our revenue is now faster growing and more reliable,” Moonves said.

The New York-based broadcaster reported a bigger-than-expected profit and revenue for the second quarter, driven by higher content licensing and subscription fees.

Advertising sales rose 4.3% to US$1.3 billion in the quarter from a year earlier, boosted by the broadcast of the NCAA basketball championship.

CBS, which owns cable channel Showtime and publishing house Simon & Schuster, said affiliate and subscription fees revenue – which includes revenue from cable TV operators and from its own streaming content – rose 15.7% in the quarter.

Content licensing and distribution revenues increased nearly 12%. CBS has signed content licensing deals with Hulu, Verizon Communications Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google and AT&T Inc’s DirectTV Now.

By year-end, CBS expects its retransmission consent and reverse compensation, which is the revenue from distributors and broadcast affiliates, to exceed the halfway mark to its US$2.5 billion revenue goal for 2020.

– Reuters

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