CBS CEO Leslie Moonves Suggests NFL Could Become Part of New Digital Service

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Leslie Moonves

The CBS CEO says All Access would have to alter its price or the network could share revenue with the NFL

CBS CEO Les Moonves suggested on Tuesday that NFL games might some day be offered on CBS All Access, the network's digital offering launched in September.

All Access charges users $5.99 a month, and for that they get current-season episodes delivered over the Internet a day after they air on TV. They also get library titles and local CBS stations can stream live TV.

If professional football becomes part of the service, Moonves said the price of All Access could rise, or CBS could strike some sort of revenue-share deal with the NFL.

"All Access will grow as we get more affiliates to add the live feed," Moonves said. "We currently do not have the NFL on the product, but once we add that, that could change the price point, or the NFL could share in some of that revenue. There are all sorts of possibilities."

Moonves also said a "potential" Showtime over-the-top service is still set for next year, and CBS will be part of Sony's planned service when it launches. The company's aggressive leap into the digital world also includes the debut last month of CBSN, a streaming news network available through CBSNews.com, the CBS News app and connected TV devices, and the CEO said it experienced a boost in users during riots in Ferguson, just as traditional TV news channels saw spikes in viewership.

The CEO said digital offerings, such as Netflix and Hulu and All Access, won't necessarily cannibalize the company's traditional TV business.

"I don't look at it as a disruption — 20 million people still watch NCIS," he said. "Network is a thriving business."

Moonves reiterated that he expects $2 billion in retransmission fees by 2020, though this time he added: "Even better than that."

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