CBS will start producing original programming for online streaming services


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Television broadcaster CBS says it will produce original programming for "major streaming" companies such as Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. "Going forward, we will be producing more and more shows for more and more outlets, including major streaming companies," CBS CEO Les Moonves said during the company's recent earnings call.

Moonves did not mention where the new shows would appear. But later in the call Moonves said he anticipates making an announcement "shortly" about an original programming deal with a subscription-based online video distributor.

This is not the first time CBS has announced its intentions for a larger push of original programming online. In early 2012, Moonves said the company was in talks with Netflix for a CBS-produced show to debut with the online video service, according to Bloomberg.

A show never materialized from the 2012-era talks, but this time around CBS is more focused than ever on producing original content and sees it as a key factor in the company's success. During the call Moonves said streaming deals, DVD releases and other non-broadcast revenue streams are "now as important, if not more important" than selling ad spots on broadcast TV.

"Ownership of the content is the key to our success," Moonves said.

Netflix is receiving critical acclaim and improving its subscriber numbers in part from producing original programming such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Netflix doesn't create the shows or spearhead development the way a broadcaster might. Instead, Netflix funds projects already in development that the company thinks will succeed with its viewers. A CBS-created show would not be unusual for Netflix, given the company's current approach to original programming.

It's not clear, however, whether Netflix is the subscription service CBS hopes to work with. Hulu, which offers a subscription service under the Hulu Plus service, could also partner with CBS.

Beyond online streaming deals for original programming, CBS said it is also producing content for other cable networks and broadcasters, including a series for network rival ABC.

[via Re/code]

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