Steve Jobs Discussed Potential Television Deal with CBS CEO Les Moonves

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Last November, CBS CEO Les Moonves acknowledged that his company had been in talks with Apple about a potential streaming television service, revealing that CBS had ultimately declined to support the plan due to Apple's demands that it include a split of advertising revenue between the two companies.

As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, Moonves has now added a bit more detail about those talks, revealing that they occurred at the highest levels between Steve Jobs and Moonves himself. But according to Moonves, the talks fell apart over fears of such a deal disrupting CBS's revenue streams.
Moonves told a conference audience that he met with Jobs, the late Apple CEO, and heard a pitch for what was billed as a subscription content service, but ultimately he said he wasn't interested in providing CBS shows or films to the venture.

"I told Steve, 'You know more than me about 99 percent of things but I know more about the television business,' " Moonves said, citing his concerns about providing content to a service that could disrupt CBS' existing revenue streams. Moonves said Jobs, in characteristic fashion, strongly disagreed with his assessment.
Back in late 2009, CBS and Disney were reportedly close to signing on with Apple for a television service that would have seen Apple offering a "best of television" package through the iTunes Store, but the plan was ultimately shelved as other networks refused to sign on and CBS apparently reconsidered its position. Interest is said to have been revived recently as Apple reportedly moves closer to launching its own television set, with Apple said to be pushing ahead even as it continues to meet resistance from content providers.

Article Link: Steve Jobs Discussed Potential Television Deal with CBS CEO Les Moonves
 

Sky Blue

Guest
Jan 8, 2005
6,860
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A subscription service for the TV shows (and maybe movies) in the iTunes Store would be great. There's so much more content in there than Netflix and Hulu. I hope Apple can give some networks to do it.
 

Themaeds

macrumors regular
Feb 4, 2011
174
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Seems short sighted on the network's part. TV is moving to the internet...like it or not.
 

emaja

macrumors 68000
May 3, 2005
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Chicago, IL
"I told Steve, 'You know more than me about 99 percent of things but I know more about the television business,' " Moonves said, citing his concerns about providing content to a service that could disrupt CBS' existing revenue streams.
Right there is the problem. He might know the business as it was, but has no idea about where it is going and doesn't know how to make that work and embrace it.

This internet thing is the future, Les. Go with it.
 

Andronicus

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2008
714
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I was reading about this over the weekend on theverge, engadget, and iphonedownloadblog…very interesting. It seems the tv people are content with currently making truckloads of cash. If it ain't broke… Believe it or not people, Steve Jobs didn't know everything.
 

bbplayer5

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2007
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Its only a matter of time...

Only thing TV is good for now is live sporting events.
 

ciociosan

macrumors member
Apr 10, 2009
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Lund, Sweden
Just another one of Les Moonves classic missteps. He might profess to know all there is to know about the television business (though evidence suggests otherwise), but he certainly has no clue whatsoever as to what happens with his revenue stream in unpaid aspects of the market. They're losing enormous amounts of revenue due to decisions like this. If I can't pay for it - because I'm quite literally prevented from doing so - I'll get it for free. Online. You know, the intertubes. It's not a big truck. Etc etc.
 

Santabean2000

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2007
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TV and FILM industries have to wake up and realise their megabuck days are numbered.

Better to go first than try catch up later.
 

FFArchitect

macrumors regular
Mar 14, 2010
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Pretty sure the same things about "knowing an industry more than you" were said to Steve vis a vis music.
 

M-O

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2011
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current ABC and NBC shows are available via the ABC and NBC apps. current CBS shows are available via bittorrent.
 

xinu

macrumors regular
Mar 9, 2012
211
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Finland
I stopped watching TV completely around 2009 and never going back.

Top Gear and Family Guy are only TV shows I watch and our TV companies wont show those so I must get them from internet.

Rest of watchable material I can find from youtube.
 

Andronicus

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2008
714
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Just another one of Les Moonves classic missteps. He might profess to know all there is to know about the television business (though evidence suggests otherwise), but he certainly has no clue whatsoever as to what happens with his revenue stream in unpaid aspects of the market. They're losing enormous amounts of revenue due to decisions like this. If I can't pay for it - because I'm quite literally prevented from doing so - I'll get it for free. Online. You know, the intertubes. It's not a big truck. Etc etc.
See that's the difference between you and me (and millions of others) if I can't pay for it, I'll wait until I'm able to pay for it. People try to justify piracy any way they can. :rolleyes:
 

devchris

macrumors newbie
Jul 22, 2011
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Haven't we heard this before?

"You know more than me about 99 percent of things but I know more about the television business"
Yeah, just like he was wrong about the personal computer, music, phone and tablet markets. Maybe Steve really didn't know much about TV, but it is hard to ignore his history of revolutionizing technology markets.
 

kaioslider

macrumors newbie
Jan 30, 2008
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I don't watch regular television and haven't for years. A lack of interest in currently available content not withstanding, it's been the commercials that's driven me to seek alternative media streams, such as iTunes, Netflix streaming, Amazon streaming, etc.

While this tidbit doesn't really say anything about what this "advertising" on this subscription service would look like, I wouldn't pay for content that's interrupted with ads - defeats the value of paid verse free content IMO.
 

vampyr

macrumors regular
Aug 29, 2008
198
33
The television execs are exactly the same as the music industry execs. Disrupt the revenue stream?? Say it like it is Les... You are a greedy CEO and don't want to share the money with Apple. Truth is, you are either going to work with Apple's HUGE customer base, or you will fail in creating any additional revenue through internet delivery.

The music industry didn't want to 'share' the profits with Apple and failed at trying to create their own subscription service. Maybe CBS and other networks need to realize that ANY subscription service is revenue that they did not have before.
CBS and other corporate networks need to realize that today's society doesn't sit down in front of the TV with the family like they did in the 80's. We are a society that carries our media devices everywhere we go. We also are starting to realize that being bombarded with commercials every 5 minutes is no longer a necessary evil to watch our favorite shows and we will gladly pay a few dollars to get rid of the commercials. After all, time is our most valuable commodity, and if it takes me 30 minutes to watch a show on TV, but only 23 minutes to watch it from the internet, guess which one I have more time for??
 

phillipduran

macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2008
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Famous last words Mr. Moonves.
I was thinking the same thing. How many other big CEO's have had egg on their face for not listening to Apple.

----------

See that's the difference between you and me (and millions of others) if I can't pay for it, I'll wait until I'm able to pay for it. People try to justify piracy any way they can. :rolleyes:
Yay for doing the right thing.

Hats off to you!
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,040
111
Canada, eh?
Well, you have to look at the track record, right?

I mean, look at how badly the artists are losing money after signing up to put music on iTunes.

Oh, wait.

Well, the studios lost a fortune when they put TV shows and movies... Wait, what?
 

thekeyring

macrumors 68040
Jan 5, 2012
3,443
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London
If they get a few major networks involved, hopefully the rest will sign up once they know it's successful.

I see no reason why a customer paying for the TV they watch is a bad idea. Only watch one football game a month? That's fine, you don't need 24/7 Sky Sports 1, 2, and 3 broadcast into your home all month at a cost of around £30.
 

kingtj

macrumors 68030
Oct 23, 2003
2,509
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Brunswick, MD
re: revenue streams

While I'm a big believer in the idea that TV has to change, and will eventually become another service provided over the Internet -- it's going to be a tough sell for the traditional networks right now.

In this particular case, it sounds like the biggest "deal breaker" for Les Moonves was Apple's demand of a chunk of their advertising revenue. That's the thing ... If you're a traditional network? You make the lion's share of your money on the advertising. It's a little bit different for a "premium channel" like HBO or Showtime, where your viewers are monthly subscribers. The regular "over the air" local TV stations can be viewed for free by anyone with a receiver. As long as they can convince potential advertisers that "X number of thousand/million" eyeballs are potentially watching their station, they can keep selling those expensive commercial slots.

Any benefit they'd receive from going digital and adding all of THOSE potential viewers to their totals get nullified if their partner starts taking a big cut of the ad revenue to do it.

For this to be workable, I think Apple (or whoever else) needs to strike a deal where they don't ask for any of the ad revenue. They should be content to have access to all the content, so they can make money through sales of their hardware that makes it possible, plus whatever additional subscription or other fees they're able to charge with the service. (Right now, most people pay some sort of monthly fee just to receive local stations via their cable or satellite provider -- so nothing really new from that angle.)



Just another one of Les Moonves classic missteps. He might profess to know all there is to know about the television business (though evidence suggests otherwise), but he certainly has no clue whatsoever as to what happens with his revenue stream in unpaid aspects of the market. They're losing enormous amounts of revenue due to decisions like this. If I can't pay for it - because I'm quite literally prevented from doing so - I'll get it for free. Online. You know, the intertubes. It's not a big truck. Etc etc.
 

rmwebs

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2007
3,138
0
Seems short sighted on the network's part. TV is moving to the internet...like it or not.
Not in the near future it isnt. Sure it'll be an option, but theres no way in hell it'll be internet-exclusive within the next say, 5 years. Too many areas are still on very slow connections.

The issue is bandwidth. If everyone's tv came through the internet, the isp's wouldnt be able to offer decent speeds. We'd all be back to 512kb internet due to the oversubscription of the lines.
 
Seems short sighted on the network's part. TV is moving to the internet...like it or not.
He's not refusing the idea of moving to the internet. His issue was Jobs wanting HALF of the advertising revenue. His thinking may have been something like "today we get 100% of ad revenue; partner with Apple on this and we get 50% of ad revenue. I see what's in it for Apple. What's in it for CBS?"

Every time I see one of these kinds of threads the message is always similar: that Apple is "asking for everything" without showing these companies who actually own the "everything" how THEY are going to to make more money. And that's the big key in all of these "greedy, short-sighted studios" threads. It's not a win:win:win (Studios:Apple:Us) if only Apple actually wins in these various "it's the future" concepts.
 

BC2009

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2009
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Translation: CBS is digging in on the old model and burying their heads in the sand as the tidal wave rolls in.

Anybody who is struggling to slow the approach of the future rather than embracing and riding the wave is going to drown. How is this any different than offering programming to the satellite providers when they came along to compete with the cable providers? Eventually the networks won't have a choice here -- its not like their content is getting better with every year -- it is getting worse. Only a few shows stand out as great anymore.
 

drewyboy

macrumors 65816
Jan 27, 2005
1,347
1,397
His comments should be read as so...

I told Steve, 'You know more than me about 99 percent of things but I know more about the television business as it currently is'
Mr. Moonves, do you have any idea where your market is MOVING to? That's what matters, and you sir do NOT know that market.