CBS is hoping to gain rights to transmit the National Football League games it broadcasts on TV via its new broadband service “CBS All Access” in time for the next TV season, the company’s chief executive told investors Monday.
Leslie Moonves has indicated in the past that he’d like to be able to show NFL games via the service, which launched in the fall of 2014 and allows subscribers to see current and classic episodes of many series to which CBS has rights. At present, CBS broadcasts of NFL games on Sunday afternoons and some Thursday nights appear only on TV.
“In general we are always evaluating opportunities to expand the ways our fans can access our content – whether on our owned and operated properties or with our partners,” the NFL said in a statement. A spokesman declined to respond to Moonves’ comments.
The ability to show NFL contests via broadband would be a boon to CBS, which is counting on both “All Access” and a new product that delivers cable network Showtime via broadband to generate meaningful revenue in 2017. Such services are “the future,” said Moonves, while speaking at an investor conference organized by Morgan Stanley. “You walk on college campuses, and they don’t have television sets.” The broadband services allow subscribers to watch programming via mobile devices.
CBS clearly has more plans for “All Access.” The company will launch a new “Star Trek” series, made expressly for the broadband service, that is slated to debut in January 2017. The company will generate attention for the programming by running its debut episode on its flagship broadcast network. Subscribers to CBS All Access already have the ability to watch past episodes from ever other “Star Trek” series.
[Updated, 1:30 PM PT]