to extend CBS News assets more into the digital media age, CBS is working on a 24-hour digital news network.
“With all the content going digital right now, wouldn’t it be a good
idea to do a 24-hour digital channel taking all the resources that CBS News has…all over the world?” asked Les Moonves, president/chief executive officer of CBS. He revealed this on
“There is so much information that we get every day that doesn’t fit into a 22-minute newscast at 6:30 or “CBS This Morning.” So we can do
that. We can go direct digital. That’s in the early stages under the tutelage of David Rhodes, the president of CBS News, and it’s an exciting alternative to cable news."
Moonves says CBS is discussing the proposal right now with various Internet companies for partnerships.
With regard to Aereo, the still-to-be-determined digitally delivered TV
service, Moonves says plainly: “They are stealing our content.”
“Aereo gets paid, and the networks don’t. Aereo is doing nothing except selling antennas. ... There
are other things we can do if we wanted to go directly to consumers, but the idea is to do it along with our affiliates.” One idea: CBS could do an over-to-top service itself.
“We can go over the top right now,” he says. “Ninety percent of the people, or high 80%, already receive our content right now through cable, satellite or telcos. They don’t
receive it over the year with antennas. So [Aereo] would just be circumventing the system. The truth is this wouldn’t be good for localism if Aereo wins.”
The Supreme Court will
decide on legality of Aereo’s current business model in June.