Moonves: All Access Could Get NFL Some Day

CBS Chief Said Live Football Would Be ‘Game Changer’ for OTT Service

CBS CEO Les Moonves said that the network’s over-the-top video service – CBS All Access – could eventually get National Football League games, a move that would be a game changer for the service, which subscribers currently use to catch up on certain library shows.

CBS launched All Access in October 2014, with olive local content from its owned and operated and other certain TV stations as well as a library of about 6,500 network shows.  But the offering – which costs $5.99 per month, hasn’t been able to carry NFL games like its linear broadcast network.

“Obviously the big thing that is missing from All Access is the NFL,” Moonves said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment conference in Beverly Hills. “But the NFL is doing more and more online.”

The league has limited its online and mobile efforts to deals with Verizon  and DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket. Earlier this month CBS Sports reached an agreement to stream more national NFL on CBS games this season, including Super Bowl 50.

“Clearly they are looking for an answer for their digital needs,” Moonves said. “They are exploring it along with us. We are guardedly optimistic that before too long we will have the NFL [on All Access], which is a game changer.”  

Later, Moonves said that the consolidation frenzy that has swept distributors over the past year or so is not expected to spread to content companies.

"I don't know any CEO looking to sell," Moonves said.

But he added that CBS could participate in the upcoming broadcast incentive auction. CBS owns 27 stations across the country, 13 of which are CBS stations and the remaining 14 CW and independents. Those 14 stations, he said, could be put up for auction. 

"We very well could play in that," Moonves said.