Earlier this week, CBS Corporation President and CEO Les Moonves, gave the firmest indication to date that his company plans to offer Showtime as an “over-the-top” service, meaning that subscribers could access the channel over the internet without being forced to purchase an expensive cable package first.
There’s a “very strong possibility” that Showtime will be offered directly to consumers over the Internet “and possibly with CBS as well,” CEO Les Moonves told investors today at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference. Overseas the company is considering “making an offering like HBO did with HBO Nordic…And there could be some kind of offering direct to consumers here. It’s something we’re looking at.”
This is great news for consumers! Showtime has always existed a “premium” network, available only as an individual add-on to an existing cable package, and this move would make Showtime available more like how Netflix is distributed now and substantially lower the cost of entry for anyone who wanted to subscribe.
Naturally, there is a great deal of material on Showtime that will not appeal to families, and that’s precisely the point of our Cable Choice campaign – the marketplace should determine who pays for what in a subscription service rather than a forced bundle of programming that most people don’t watch in the first place.
So the question for Mr. Moonves is this: if you’re so confident that Showtime can stand on its own without being forced into a bundle, why not offer all CBS Corporation programming that way too?
Let the free market have its say, and let families choose what they want to pay for.