CBS Unveils Big Digital Initiatives With Sony, News, And Possibly Showtime

CBS moves aggressively to be a digital player. Will it be able to succeed?


Is CEO Les Moonves angling to become a digital mogul? It sure sounded that way from the series of initiatives he just announced in his quarterly call with analysts. They include an alliance with Sony’s planned online service, a 24/7 news platform — CBSN — that launches tomorrow, and a possible direct-to-consumer offering from Showtime in 2015. Few details, but here’s what he disclosed as CBS shares rose 2.4% in post market trading:

The network joins its corporate cousin Viacom in agreeing to provide programming for Sony. Since it’s a newcomer, it will pay “higher subscription fees than what we’ve ever been paid before,” Moonves says. He adds that Sony and other broadband services “will help expand the universe of opportunities for companies like CBS that make the best programming.… More deals along these lines are coming soon.”

The CEO also confirmed that he’ll introduce tomorrow CBSN, an ad-supported online…

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