CBS Turned Down Apple TV Subscription Service Deal

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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During an earnings call today, CBS CEO Les Moonves is reported to have revealed that CBS had turned down an Apple TV service that would rely on advertising revenue.

As reported by GigaOM:
When asked about CBS's appetite for striking deals with new streaming providers that might not have the money to pay cash upfront to license its content, Moonves said that CBS had decided against joining an Apple TV service because it was based on an ad split.
Apple has been long rumored to be working on some sort of TV subscription service over the past few years. A Wall Street Journal article from December, 2009 described one possible iteration of the service:
The proposed service by the maker of iPhones and iPod music players could, in at least some scenarios, offer access to some TV shows from a selection of major U.S. television networks for a monthly fee, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Such a service, of course, has never launched. But it's not clear if that particular plan was canceled or is awaiting the arrival of a full Apple television.

Rumors of a full blown Apple TV set were recently revived after Steve Jobs' biography quoted Jobs as saying he had "finally cracked" the problems standing in the way of an Apple television set.

Article Link: CBS Turned Down Apple TV Subscription Service Deal
 

rickdollar

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2007
466
17
CBS? No surprise there. ABC and NBC have decent apps for the iPad. CBS's app is irrelevant it's so bad.
 

dagamer34

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2007
1,359
101
Houston, TX
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/9A334)

It's news like this that really makes me wonder how successful an Apple HDTV would be. If you can't truly cut the cord without missing content, it won't do as well as if it did.
 

Trapped Wind

macrumors member
Jul 27, 2010
45
0
San Francisco
I cut the cord 2 months ago and it was the best thing I've ever done. A Macbook Pro, iPad, and Apple Tv are all I need. CBS is making a huge mistake. There's a new subscription world upon us and either they embrace it or people will steal content. I'm not paying over $100 for Hillbilly Handfishing and the rest of the garbage they feed us. Oh and I also haven't seen a commercial in 2 months!!
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,186
I think I’d rather pay (or even view-with-ads) on a per-show basis than per-network. Support current quality shows that tend to fade into cancellation, and boycott the endless reality clones!

(I’ve never opted for cable, but my iMac does have HD rabbit ears!)
 

Trapped Wind

macrumors member
Jul 27, 2010
45
0
San Francisco
I think I’d rather pay (or even view-with-ads) on a per-show basis than per-network. Support current quality shows that tend to fade into cancellation, and boycott the endless reality clones!

(I’ve never opted for cable, but my iMac does have HD rabbit ears!)
I'd pay per show as well. I don't see that happening, however. Bloomberg allows you to watch live TV without cable and I stream that to my Apple TV. YOu just may have a bunch of channels on your iPad.
 

ArcaneDevice

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2003
762
179
outside the crazy house, NC
CBS? No surprise there. ABC and NBC have decent apps for the iPad. CBS's app is irrelevant it's so bad.
CBS aims for a middle aged dull audience who are not tech savvy (no, BBT doesn't count - it's another bland sitcom about couples now) and neither are CBS. They refused Hulu and it took years for CBS to finally put their shows on the Web and their site is crap. Barely any episodes available, poor interface, cluttered site that's hard to find stuff on ...

They think that because they have the most network viewers they don't need to try and court the tech audience and other platforms. All the old folk still watch the magic box in the corner.
 

Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,445
7,083
Silicon Valley, CA
I cut the cord 2 months ago and it was the best thing I've ever done. A Macbook Pro, iPad, and Apple Tv are all I need. CBS is making a huge mistake. There's a new subscription world upon us and either they embrace it or people will steal content. I'm not paying over $100 for Hillbilly Handfishing and the rest of the garbage they feed us. Oh and I also haven't seen a commercial in 2 months!!
LOL just yesterday i saw a commercial for Hillbilly Handfishing and was like "Wtf, is Mad TV on?". Then I realized it was real.
 

anti-win

macrumors newbie
Feb 5, 2006
17
0
I bought a house in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY.

Cablevision is a joke and in my town of Brookhaven, the politicians are controlling whether Verizon can push their Fios out east.

My biggest concern about cutting the cord and relying on Apple TV and streaming service is sports. I need NFL, MLB, NHL. What do people do to get their sports fix? ESPN plays all day long in the background just for something to listen to.
 

nunes013

macrumors 65816
May 24, 2010
1,280
184
Connecticut
An Apple HDTV would do well but it has to been exactly right. If it ran the new apple tv software that would be good. what needs to happen imo is that some tv shows will come with a subscription. for example sports and current seasons would be a subscription. instead of through a cable provider it would be offered through the companies servers as a "streaming" like deal. you pay a certain amount a month and get this. all reruns of past shows and seasons could be another subscription for $XX a month. you could get both packages as a deal. all would be streamed kind of like how you watch shows on websites like NBC or CBS. It would be streamed via ethernet or wifi.

Yea some people don't have fast internet yet so this would not be for them. Then over the next few years as internet speeds become faster this type of service will grow. Apple might also offer their apps to be used on the TV. it uses an iDevice as a controller. And then Siri might be incorporated and FaceTime and iMessage. All of that plus whatever is offered now from the current generation Apple TV. Im guessing all this would be powered off whatever their latest processor would be which might be the rumored quad core A6. It would have about 2 GB of ram and flash storage like the macbook air. Most likely only 60 GB or less but it will have support for external drives. Just my guess. this way you can buy the TV and not pay for streaming shows. You can use it just like the apple tv is now plus apps and FaceTime etc. If you want to pay for a streaming deal, you pay lets say $50 a month and get unlimited shows to stream. anybody have anything else in mind.
 

TMar

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2008
1,679
1
Ky
Networks have gotten so use to getting paid twice on content (selling access to providers then selling ad space) I say good riddance to them all. There's a need for a new standard for delivering content and it's not going to break my heart when these greedy corps die because they can't change.
 

ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68030
Dec 31, 2007
2,921
2,391
Milwaukee Area
As neat as a new Apple product would be, I have to say, I couldn't care less about a TV. It's like revolutionizing the slide-rule industry. Unnecessary and backward. Just waiting for an old generation to die out and take TV with it.

What does CBS provide that adds value to my life that I can't get elsewhere without a load of interruptive advertising? More mindless content written at a 5th grade level. Great.
 

vitzr

macrumors 68030
Jul 28, 2011
2,766
3
California
Now that Steve is gone I wonder if there's someone who can persuade them to join this new technology!
Very True.

With Jobs out of the picture Apple is in a very different position than they are used to. They must compete on a level playing field. Suddenly they are like fish out of water. It will be fascinating to see how they handle being vulnerable.

The covers are being pulled back, exposing the company as never before.
 

Darien Red Sox

macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2010
215
7
CT, USA
I bought a house in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY.

Cablevision is a joke and in my town of Brookhaven, the politicians are controlling whether Verizon can push their Fios out east.

My biggest concern about cutting the cord and relying on Apple TV and streaming service is sports. I need NFL, MLB, NHL. What do people do to get their sports fix? ESPN plays all day long in the background just for something to listen to.
I needed to put up with Cablevision's overpriced poor quality TV hear in CT, glad AT&T came down my street . Now the standard death looks better than the HD used to look and I get ESPN3 online as part of my internet package. Would like to cut the cord all together some day. Anyone know if HDTV and DIY Network have there shows online yet?
 

Trapped Wind

macrumors member
Jul 27, 2010
45
0
San Francisco
I bought a house in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY.

Cablevision is a joke and in my town of Brookhaven, the politicians are controlling whether Verizon can push their Fios out east.

My biggest concern about cutting the cord and relying on Apple TV and streaming service is sports. I need NFL, MLB, NHL. What do people do to get their sports fix? ESPN plays all day long in the background just for something to listen to.

Sports is by far the biggest problem so far. I am able to stream European Soccer live via Foxsoccer.tv and airplay but that's about it. Now you can use the ESPN app for replays but that's not live. Outside of that I am pretty happy to be commercial free and when BBC announces their iPlayer I'll be happier

----------

As neat as a new Apple product would be, I have to say, I couldn't care less about a TV. It's like revolutionizing the slide-rule industry. Unnecessary and backward. Just waiting for an old generation to die out and take TV with it.

What does CBS provide that adds value to my life that I can't get elsewhere without a load of interruptive advertising? More mindless content written at a 5th grade level. Great.
Totally agree. I wouldn't pay for an actual Apple branded TV. It's just a monitor. In the future I'd like to see your iPad being your totally portable TV brain and being able to go over to your buddies house, jump on his/her network and airplay your own content to their device.
 

cantthinkofone

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2004
1,285
0
Missouri, USA
IDIOTS. Plane and simple. Nothing but lost revenue for them. This is why I don't have satellite or cable because these companies are to busy being stuck in the 50s and 60s when tv was magical. As I explained to a directv rep, I don't want to spend $118 a month so I can get the package that has Speed TV. I would only watch maybe 10-12 of the channels. Why can't I just get those?
 

hbunting

macrumors newbie
Apr 6, 2008
19
0
CBS aims for a middle aged dull audience who are not tech savvy (no, BBT doesn't count - it's another bland sitcom about couples now) and neither are CBS. They refused Hulu and it took years for CBS to finally put their shows on the Web and their site is crap. Barely any episodes available, poor interface, cluttered site that's hard to find stuff on ...

They think that because they have the most network viewers they don't need to try and court the tech audience and other platforms. All the old folk still watch the magic box in the corner.
There are some old folk who are a little more tech savvy. I'll use my mother as an example, she's in her mid 50s and uses hulu most of the time over ota programming.
 

DVDxR

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2009
171
21
This is no surprise and it is completely in line with Les' other decisions (Hulu, Netflix). Broadcast networks make the vast majority of their money on ad time, and the rate for ad time is driven almost exclusively by broadcast ratings in the 18-49 demo. Remember: You may be the consumer, but the advertisers are the customers.

NBC and ABC have used digital distribution to try to drum up their broadcast ratings (if you like the show, maybe you'll start watching it live). CBS doesn't care. They don't need to beg for ratings for most of their shows; they are doing just fine as it is. Despite their reputation for being an "old person's" network, their scripted shows still pull in good numbers in demo. Moonves doesn't see any reason (aka any money) in selling his shows out to digital distributors. He's come out and said so in the past.

Now, as much as I'd love for Apple turn the TV industry on its head like they did the music industry, I just can't see how they can. Until the viewer becomes the customer, there is no way to leverage the networks to bend to their will on this.
 

vitzr

macrumors 68030
Jul 28, 2011
2,766
3
California
I have a home theater that I enjoy _instead_ of Television. Having cut two cords (landline & cable) a few years ago. I now have complete control over the content I bring in. We have a theatre room purpose built for entertaining. With genuine theatre seating for thirty it's ideal.

By reserving it exclusively for movies and using it no more than three or four times per month, it remains a special fun experience. Friends are always eager to join us, which ads to the enjoyment. Since we haven't watched TV on a regular basis for the last few years the quality of life has increased more than we imagined. We kept just one TV in an auxiliary room, fed via satellite in case of emergency, it remains within a closed cabinet.

Where Apple TV is concerned, I simply cannot relate, nor do I have a use for it. My entertainment needs are nicely met already.

Yet simply because of Apples mind share amongst the mainstream couch potatoes, Apple TV may be well received.

In addition, the great majority of my family & friends are far too involved in the outdoors in a variety of sports for fun & fitness, we've never been big TV watchers.

If their is a weakness in Apples product line I would expect it to be TV. Only time will tell.
 

Trapped Wind

macrumors member
Jul 27, 2010
45
0
San Francisco
This is no surprise and it is completely in line with Les' other decisions (Hulu, Netflix). Broadcast networks make the vast majority of their money on ad time, and the rate for ad time is driven almost exclusively by broadcast ratings in the 18-49 demo. Remember: You may be the consumer, but the advertisers are the customers.

NBC and ABC have used digital distribution to try to drum up their broadcast ratings (if you like the show, maybe you'll start watching it live). CBS doesn't care. They don't need to beg for ratings for most of their shows; they are doing just fine as it is. Despite their reputation for being an "old person's" network, their scripted shows still pull in good numbers in demo. Moonves doesn't see any reason (aka any money) in selling his shows out to digital distributors. He's come out and said so in the past.

Now, as much as I'd love for Apple turn the TV industry on its head like they did the music industry, I just can't see how they can. Until the viewer becomes the customer, there is no way to leverage the networks to bend to their will on this.


People will just steal content. Their lack of desire to get in the game will only encourage video 'Napsters' to pop up all over the place. They don't seem to understand you can't force people to watch absolute garbage for $120/month. Furthermore their advertising model is broken and has been with DVR's. Apple is actually doing the industry a favor my mainstreaming it immediately before people start to steal it everywhere. The musicians b*tched and moaned about Napster 15 years ago but we now buy all our music off iTunes. This IS going to happen whether CBS or the advertisers like it or not.

Now I have to go off and steal some commercial free content to watch. Have a good night.
 

johnhw

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2009
300
0
Tim should say "Do you wanna see your content on ugly TVs or see it on a beautiful OOOH SHINY Apple TV?".