CBS won’t “flick the switch” on global streaming service, says CBS boss

Armando Nuñez, president and CEO of CBS Global Distribution Group, received Varietys International Achievement in TV Award yesterday at MIPTV.

During the keynote that followed, Nunez was quizzed on the company’s plans for its direct to consumer/streaming business, which is currently restricted to the US (via CBS All Access), Canada and Australia. In response he said it is unlikely that CBS will just “flick the switch” and launch a global streaming business like rival Disney.

Instead, he said “we will pick and choose where it makes sense to launch direct to consumer. And when we do we have the luxury of going with either the CBS All Access brand or our premium PayTV brand Showtime.”

With Disney and Warner believed to be stockpiling rights to feed their own streaming services, Nunez said that represents a good opportunity for CBS’s international business “because the demand for US programming is still strong among international broadcasters”.

CBS’s plans for direct to consumer might be affected by rumours that the company is set to remerge with Viacom. Asked about the potential for such a mega-merger, Nunez said “that’s a question for the board, not me”.

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