“There are winners and losers; there were some networks that sold negative CPM pricing,” says Moonves, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference. “[Our] pricing was just fine — up mid-single digits [percentages].” He adds that for CBS, the overall revenue picture “volume was down a little, 4% to 5%." Moonves estimates that CBS sold around 74% of its inventory this upfront season -- down from around 79%.
But, he adds, “in 11 of the last 12 years, scatter pricing was up versus the upfront. I don’t anticipate any problems in the scatter marketplace.’'
In speaking on other subjects, Moonves says that more episodes of in-season TV shows for video-on-demand services may not be in the cards in the near term. CBS' current policy is to offer around five trailing episodes of a recently airing TV series on pay TV services’ video-on-demand services.
“Binging isn’t quite as big as some people would think,” says Moonves. “Binging does take place in a lot of households. But it’s not the end-all and be-all. There are a number of shows that work. But we want to be very careful. “Our bread and butter is still TV advertising. That's where it begins, and then we sell to a lot of other places. So by putting on a lot more [VOD] episodes, it might hurt us.”
Moonves says CBS’ VOD policy “seems to be working for now.”
That said, Moonves is looking to continue to do deals with Netflix, Amazon and other new players -- possibly including Sony’s new cloud-based Internet-delivered TV service -- when it comes to library product.
“Every time [a] new market opens up, we are always of part of it,” he notes.