CBS chief argued, then rejected Apple TV subscription pitch from Steve Jobs

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


CBS chief executive Les Moonves has revealed that he was approached directly by late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to discuss a subscription TV service, but he rejected the offer over concerns that it would disrupt the company's existing revenue streams.



Moonves had confirmed last November during an earnings call that Apple had held talks with CBS over a "success-based or non-guaranteed" streaming TV service. During the UCLA Entertainment Symposium on Saturday, he mentioned the additional detail that it was Jobs himself who had given the pitch, Hollywood Reporter reports.



"I told Steve, 'You know more than me about 99 percent of things but I know more about the television business,' " he said.



The executive noted that his reasons for rejecting the service were concerns that it would affect CBS' current revenue sources. According to him, Jobs strongly disagreed with his reasoning.



Moonves did say during the talk that he was optimistic about digital opportunities, calling streaming video service Netflix a "friend" of CBS. Agreements with Hulu and Netflix turned around the CW network, which CBS has a stake in, from being a "losing proposition" to a profitable one.



Reports have suggested that Apple has been pitching its proposed subscription service for years with little success. Moonves' candid remarks serve as some of the most concrete indications that the company was actively pursuing partnerships with content providers.





CBS CEO Les Moonves | Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images







Apple did, however, recently win a small victory in its efforts to attain more flexibility in providing digital video options for consumers. The company announced last week that iTunes in the Cloud functionality has expanded to include re-downloading movies and TV shows. It was also discovered that iTunes Digital Copy files are now recognized as Purchased in iTunes in the Cloud and can be streamed to a second-generation Apple TV.



The company unveiled last week the third-generation Apple TV with support for 1080p video output. The new set-top box goes on sale later this week.



According to one recent report, Apple is actively "pushing ahead" with its plans for a streaming TV service in the face of resistance from studios and other content providers. People familiar with the matter told The New York Post that Apple is set on getting the service off the ground before the end of the year. The company has reportedly decided to launch the service first before bringing to market its much-rumored television set. Multiple sources believe Apple could unveil a high-definition connected TV as early as late 2012 in preparation for release in early 2013.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The executive noted that his reasons for rejecting the service were concerns that it would affect CBS' current revenue sources.



    I've been saying that for years. I agree with CBS exec saying Apple would affect that... but that doesn't mean I don't want it affected.
  • tyler82tyler82 Posts: 524member
    Old conservative dudes unwilling to open their minds to new ideas? This is breaking news!
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    "I told Steve, 'You know more than me about 99 percent of things but I know more about the television business,' " he said.




    How diplomatic. Other execs likely just told him to take a hike, given that he wants to take profits from their hard work while giving back almost nothing.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post


    Old conservative dudes unwilling to open their minds to new ideas? This is breaking news!



    Les Moonves is old? And conservative?



    I think you may be confused.
  • tyler82tyler82 Posts: 524member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    Les Moonves is old? And conservative?



    Absolutely.



    Put the social media kids in charge of programming and then maybe it would be something worth watching.



    Until then, I will not (and do not) own a TV.
  • slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,537member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    How diplomatic. Other execs likely just told him to take a hike, given that he wants to take profits from their hard work while giving back almost nothing.



    Steve Jobs is dead, if you haven't noticed, so you can stop spewing venom at him every opportunity you get. It's rather classless, and makes you look like an asshole.



    As for your comment, it's asinine. In the opinion of many iTunes saved the music industry, and got people who were stealing music motivated to buy legitimately. As for TV, I haven't watched a show on TV since.. I can't even remember. The experience is so horrible with commercial breaks every 5 min and the inflexibility of it all. So yeah, sure this exec wants things to stay exacltly the same, fuck the consumer and the experience. As for myself, I admit that I torrent TV shows, because there literally are zero other avenues to watch things in a convenient, timely manner. If Apple TV had this type of content, I would gladly pay. So GTFO about your FUD and your bullshit about SJ 'taking profits from their hard work' and 'giving back nothing'. What hard work? Where the fuck has the TV industry ever innovated? The experience is the same as it was 30 years ago. God forbid Jobs had a vision to modernize this industry, as he modernized everything else. Nice to see you're on the side of these selfish execs who couldn't give a fuck about you or the consumer experience, but wants things to stay exactly the same as long as their pockets are getting padded.
  • ivladivlad Posts: 730member
    At least Music, Developers, Books, Magazines, Higher Education and Newspaper industries are moving on into 21st century. TV industry wants it to get to the point when they're gonna be begging Apple for help. It's their choice.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    As for myself, I admit that I torrent TV shows, because there literally are zero other avenues to watch things in a convenient, timely manner.



    Buy the DVD, thief. You guys think everything should be free. That is why Apple has to lock down iOS - to keep people from stealing the hard work of developers.





    Oh, it's SO inconvenient to not steal - yeah right.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    At least Music, Developers, Books, Magazines, Higher Education and Newspaper industries are moving on into 21st century. TV industry wants it to get to the point when they're gonna be begging Apple for help. It's their choice.



    It's much more complex than any of those in ways that makes it hard for anyone to make headway for change. I think Apple's easiest targets are the paid premium channels like HBO and Showtime, then the ad laden pay channels, and finally the commercial broadcasting networks. Unfortunately you really don't have a replacement until you have all the pieces in place.



    Apparently Apple has also tried to create a cable box but cable providers are against that as well. I think it's likely true as it boils down to the same reason CBS is weary.
  • slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,537member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    Buy the DVD, thief. You guys think everything should be free. That is why Apple has to lock down iOS - to keep people from stealing the hard work of developers.





    Oh, it's SO inconvenient to not steal - yeah right.



    Guess what fuckwad, I'm not willing to wait 6 months for the damn DVD to come out, nor I imagine would anyone else.



    I can relate to this: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

    ..because that's EXACTLY what happened to me when I wanted to watch Game of Thrones. It was LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE to buy. Anywhere. Or watch. I live in Canada.



    The model is horribly outdated and archaic. There's nothing wrong with wanting things to improve. I like how you magically expect people to act in ways that are utterly unrealistic and inconvenient, where much simpler avenues are present, and instead of wanting the business model to change to acocomdate the consumer and motivate more people to pay, you can people like Steve Jobs a thief for attempting to do so, and pat the execs who are completely disconnected with the needs of most consumers on the back just cause they're doing such a bang-up job. I've never stolen an app, so fuck off with your implications.
  • shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    If CBS can see the benefits of doing deals with Netflix and Hulu why can't they see the benefits of doing a deal with Apple? I wonder what Steve proposed and why it was seen as a threat rather than an opportunity? I'm sure they must sell CBS shows on iTunes now, so they can see the potential for such as service.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


    If CBS can see the benefits of doing deals with Netflix and Hulu why can't they see the benefits of doing a deal with Apple? I wonder what Steve proposed and why it was seen as a threat rather than an opportunity? I'm sure they must sell CBS shows on iTunes now, so they can see the potential for such as service.



    It may not be anything more than Apple being extremely successful. Even if Apple can increase or rejuvenate a market for others the amount of success and control they have gained this past decade in markets they entered can look like a scary proposition.
  • solsunsolsun Posts: 763member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    If Apple TV had this type of content, I would gladly pay.



    They do. Shows from just about all of the networks are available on Apple TV the day after they air.
  • tontontonton Posts: 14,063member
    Allow streaming to ios devices including apple tv. Include commercials. Charge a subscription.



    I would pay for that, and accept the commercials. The advertisers would accept that. Apple would accept that.



    The only one that loses is the cable company. But they make up for it in increased Internet traffic, assuming they are also offering ISP business.



    I don't see where the problem is.
  • steveslegacy007steveslegacy007 Posts: 7member
    Apple should launch the TV service for free and focus on global ad spenders, embedded ads etc...with a commercials option. If you study the history of TV Broadcasting you see the inherent conflicts in the model, how ad spenders participate,and why the courts got involved in local programming issues. Originally people were concerned there wasn't enough room on the spectrum for local broadcasts, news etc..the Internet not only allows local but global programming if I want to see it and at a much lower cost to the consumer. Why should we be constricted to what the broadcasters want us to watch so they can get ad spending dollars. CBS can operate business as usual and this may increase their viewing audience. I recommend dumping Direct TV, Dish, or any other service. Get your news from Twitter and become not only locally but globally informed more and faster than CNN
  • steveslegacy007steveslegacy007 Posts: 7member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tonton View Post


    Allow streaming to ios devices including apple tv. Include commercials. Charge a subscription.



    I would pay for that, and accept the commercials. The advertisers would accept that. Apple would accept that.



    The only one that loses is the cable company. But they make up for it in increased Internet traffic, assuming they are also offering ISP business.



    I don't see where the problem is.



    Cable wins as they are the only source fast enough to deliver internet over the last mile it is not built out in many places. $120 per month for the faster cable internet service why ad Direct TV or Dish on that for lousy controlled programmimg
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    Guess what fuckwad, I'm not willing to wait 6 months for the damn DVD to come out, nor I imagine would anyone else.






    Many thieves try to justify their dishonesty. They always seem to have a "reason" why they think it is OK to steal other people's hard work.



    But honest people seem to forego lying, cheating and stealing for their own selfish benefit. They don't make flimsy excuses, they simply lead honest lives.



    It is pathetic that when thieves gets caught red handed, they turns to bullying and profanity. Very telling.
  • steveslegacy007steveslegacy007 Posts: 7member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    I've been saying that for years. I agree with CBS exec saying Apple would affect that... but that doesn't mean I don't want it affected.



    I think it will have a opposite effect, allow more options and get CBS execs off their butts and find quality programming 24/7 There audience will grow
  • shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    It may not be anything more than Apple being extremely successful. Even if Apple can increase or rejuvenate a market for others the amount of success and control they have gained this past decade in markets they entered can look like a scary proposition.



    Does Apple really need a streaming TV service to launch their Apple TV? I've probably downloaded more than enough content from iTunes (movies and tv shows) to keep me going. If there was more HD films to buy I would buy more. If there was more of my fav old tv shows available I would buy them to.



    When I looked at Netflix and Lovefilm recently I wasn't that impressed with the content available to stream.



    I get the impression that CBS and the other studios want Apple to stump millions of dollars in advance like Netflix did for the rights to stream their shows, whereas Apple wants a more pay-as-you-go type arrangement.
  • asciiascii Posts: 5,363member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple did, however, recently win a small victory in its efforts to attain more flexibility in providing digital video options for consumers. The company announced last week that iTunes in the Cloud functionality has expanded to include re-downloading movies and TV shows.



    This is not true, TV shows have been in iCloud for some time, only movies were added last week. The only thing that happened to TV shows is they increased their resolution to 1080p.



    I personally would not buy a TV subscription service. Since I already know what shows I like, I am happy buying Season Passes. For discovering new shows, perhaps they could make pilot episodes downloadable for free, instead of needing a full-fledged subscription service.
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