Moonves: Prepare for Plugs Aplenty


TV viewers better brace themselves for even greater product placement in their favorite TV shows because CBS Chairman Les Moonves is planning big increase.

“I think you’re going to see a quantum leap in the number of products integrated into your television shows this year,” Moonves told investors at Deutsche Bank’s annual media conference in New York Monday, trying to calm anxiety about the threatened disruption of TV advertising by digital television recorders.

Moonves says that while NBC’s The Apprentice “may have taken that model and overdid it there”, CBS will be heavily salting much of its programming with placements. “We’re making more and more of those deals: The kind of cars they drive in CSI; the kind of orange juice they drink in Two and A Half Men.”

One aspect of the TV business that will be slow to develop is video on demand.

Broadcast networks have been working with cable operators on VOD, but are not willing to offer premium product, primarily scheduling shows that have little library value.

Ultimately, Moonves would like to be selling previously-aired episodes of CSI at $1 per viewing.

But asked about CBS’ experience with Comcast’s VOD venture, Moonves says that “The results are really rather inconclusive.

Number one, I don’t think people are running for VOD on 48 Hours.  It’s not something you run home and say `Oh my god I missed 48 Hours this week, I’ve got to catch up with it.’ Or the evening news, which is pretty dead by the time you see it. We haven’t done anything with product that would mean anything.”