Showtime is gearing up to follow HBO’s lead by offering its own standalone online streaming service “in the not to distant future,” says Leslie Moonves, head man at Showtime owner CBS Corp.
Variety reports that Moonves, speaking today in Palm Beach at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet and Telecom investor conference, said talks are under way with distributors. He indicated that this week’s formal announcement on the launch of HBO Now has lit a fire under the negotiations.
Said Moonves: “We’ve been having discussions with the normal suspects. I think the floodgates are now open.”
Variety reports: “Moonves acknowledged that there is hesitation from some [multichannel video programming distributors] who are concerned about a digital-only offering cannibalizing their existing service. But there is no doubt that OTT offerings are joining the parade of pay TV offerings, he said, which will only improve the underlying economics for networks.”
Moonves added: “Other than a little bit of consternation (from MVPDs), I don’t see how anybody cannot view this as a positive for HBO and a positive for Showtime.”