NAB 2016: CBS Affiliates Like Success of 'All Access'

Stations share revenue from digital platform and it's doing well
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Complete Coverage: NAB Show 2016

The CBS affiliate board met with network executives Monday at the NAB convention and, like a lot of what’s being talked about at this meeting of broadcasters, the major topic was digital.

“We got an update on how things are going with CBS All Access and from what we were told, it’s tracking right on plan,” said Michael Fiorile, the affiliate board chairman and CEO of the Dispatch Broadcast Group. CBS All Access gives online viewers access to most CBS programs present and past plus access to local stations too. The affiliates get a cut from CBS from the $5.99 consumers pay monthly for the OTT service.

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“I see ABC is getting some attention in the trades for trying to work with their affiliates on digital,” Fiorile said, referring to ABC’s new Clearinghouse plan announced at the convention. “But we’ve been doing that for six months.”

The bulk of the closed-door CBS session was on all matters of digital. Not much centered on the television network. While CBS is steady in primetime, some say its older series could be reaching the point audiences might tune out. What’s more, in a milennial obsessed media world the CBS viewer profile skews oldest of all the the networks, and has for years.

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“It’s always a topic,” Fiorile conceded, about the demographics. “But with increased distribution on digital platforms, we get a chance to attract younger viewers there, so that could help us out.”

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