CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves revealed in a recent earnings call that CBS Studios is currently developing original TV series specifically with streaming video services in mind. While Moonves didn’t delve into any details regarding which services CBS might be collaborating with, the CEO did say that the network plans to produce “more and more shows for more and more outlets,” according to the Verge.
Services such as Amazon Prime Instant Video, Netflix, and Hulu aren’t necessarily nemeses of mainstream TV networks. In fact, the two camps have shown that a symbiotic relationship is both possible and profitable, when done right. For example, Amazon’s content licensing agreement with CBS allows it to stream each new episode of the network’s sci-fi thriller Extant, which premiered in mid-July, four days after its initial broadcast debut on CBS. Amazon entered a comparable agreement with CBS last year with Under the Dome, which ended up becoming Prime Instant Video’s most-watched series of the summer. The service similarly streams each new episode of the series four days after its broadcast debut.
But this week’s announcement from Moonves indicates that the network will be producing shows that will air solely on the chosen streaming services, rather than TV first, streaming second. It seems that the big broadcast boys want in on the burgeoning success of binge-ready original series, and streaming services will take all the original programming they can get their hands on. Commissioning and producing a brand-new original series from the ground up can consume a lot of resources, and they often end up crashing and burning. In short: cranking out something as engaging and successful as Netflix’s House of Cards is no small task.
So if CBS comes knocking on the door of Yahoo, which has now embarked on its own quest for compelling original content, we can’t picture the company turning the network away. There are a number of variables at play here, however, and streaming services will have to make judgement calls as to what shows will fit with their particular demographics.
But big money and big names can equal big profits for everyone involved, making these kinds of agreements beneficial to all parties.