In CBS’ quarterly earnings call on Thursday, November 5, CEO Les Moonves surprised analysts by claiming CBS doesn’t plan on seeing revenue loss due to cord-cutting.
“Where others worry about cord-cutters, we don’t,” said Moonves. “We are ready for them. We welcome that. In fact, where others are losing to cord-cutters, we are growing.”
Moonves went on to state that subscribers to the network’s exclusive streaming service, CBS All Access, had increased significantly, and the service is on track to reach two million paying subscribers by the end of 2017. This is hardly surprising considering the success of Star Trek: Discovery, a CBS All Access–exclusive show that premiered in September to solid reviews.
“Not only are we not affected as others are by cord-cutting, it has real measurable upside for us,” continued Moonves. The CEO also mentioned CBS All Access would target a younger audience with shows like the upcoming Will Ferrell–produced comedy No Activity and a new Twilight Zone reimagining from Jordan Peele (director, Get Out) and Marco Ramirez (executive producer, Daredevil, The Defenders).
In the same quarterly earnings call, Moonves also announced other plans to improve CBS’s online offerings with a 24/7 livestream sports channel called CBS Sports HQ. According to Moonves, the service will offer free, ad-supported sports highlights and will likely be folded into CBS All Access. Moonves was vague on the timeline, saying the service would launch “in the coming months.”
It’s unlikely a free CBS Sports HQ will be able to provide livestreaming of the most popular games due to the cost of licensing. Nonetheless, such a move could constitute a huge win for sports fans looking to cut the cord, especially considering how difficult it typically is to stream CBS sports offerings.