CBS Eyes Producing Shows for Netflix, Amazon, Other OTT Platforms

/ Aug 8, 2014


CBS is looking to make original series for distribution on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video.

The company’s production arm, CBS Television Studios, which primarily makes shows for the broadcast network (“The Good Wife,” “Elementary,” “Under the Dome”), now wants to expand its business to digital.

This news comes from comments made by CBS chief executive Les Moonves during the company’s latest earnings call. “Going forward [CBS Television Studios] will be producing more and more shows for more and more outlets, including major streaming companies and other emerging distributors,” he said. “Shortly, you’re going to hear us being in business with some of the SVODs with programs.”

CBS has always been seen as the most hesitant of the four major broadcast networks to embrace digital — it’s the only one that did not back the launch of Hulu, for instance. However, in the past year, the company has been a bit more open to licensing deals with the likes of Netflix and Amazon, viewing them as great sources for additional revenue.

The nature of series commissioned by Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon means that the studio producing the content still owns the rights to it. For instance, Media Rights Capital owns “House of Cards,” and is responsible for selling DVDs of the show.

Moonves sees this as a potentially lucrative opportunity as the production division ramps up the number of shows it’s producing. “There’s still a great deal of growth,” he said. “I think we have over 30 shows in production, and that’s only going to grow.”

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