CES: Moonves Says CBS OTT Offering Is Not Just Retrans Weapon

Broadcast exec calls overnight ratings 'worthless,' 'antiquated'
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Las Vegas — CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves conceded "it's not bad" to own an OTT service like CBS All Access when striking carriage deals with MVPDs, but he insisted the service is more of a supplementary offering to ensure CBS content reaches cord-free audiences.

"We don't care how or when you watch our content, we just want you to watch it," he said during a BrandMatters keynote conversation with MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan Wednesday during CES 2015.

As committed as CBS remains to the offering, which launched last fall, Moonves continued, "We like the ecosystem like it is and we hope it stays that way."

The 30-minute session largely served as a platform for Moonves to promote the viability of broadcast TV. The only ripple in the pond concerned ratings and measurement.

In particular, Moonves derided overnight ratings as "antiquated" and "basically worthless." Aside from movie advertising and other time-sensitive advertising, "we just want to focus on delivering the best-quality programming that we can and we are not especially concerned about when it is viewed. We just want Nielsen or whoever it is to count it so we can get paid."

In addition to mounting his usual spirited argument for the staying power of traditional media, Moonves sounded an optimistic note about the environment of CES.

"Technology and content used to be at war," he said. "There was no common language. That's no longer the case."

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