CBS Affiliates Board Chair: All Access Looks Solid

CBS All Access, the digital on-demand service announced Oct. 16, looks like a win for the network's partner stations, says affiliates board chairman Michael Fiorile. Fiorile met with CBS network execs last week and offered feedback on the network's All Access presentation. For the most part, he was pleased with what he saw, including the fact that users will watch the local stream version of CBS.

"I like the plan," he said. "They're distributing CBS to everybody everywhere, we'll share revenue, and the feed being viewed is the affiliate feed."

Stations opt in for the plan, which launches on the owned stations and costs users $5.99 a month. The local broadcasters will work out terms with CBS regarding revenue share, while also ironing out agreements with syndication outfits to air those shows on the new platform. NFL games are not part of CBS' mobile package.

All Access includes current primetime shows, past seasons of current series, owned stations' news and programs from the CBS library, among other content. Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS, called CBS All Access "another key step in the company's long-standing strategy of monetizing our local and national content in the ways that viewers want it."

Marcy Ryvicker, senior analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, saw the development as a positive for the stations. "We believe CBS will involve the affiliates by paying them something (not sure how big) for their live feeds and local content. We wouldn't model anything in but do note optionality here," she said.

CBS affiliates board members, including Perry Sook, president and CEO of Nexstar, and past chairman Chris Cornelius, met with CBS on the topic earlier this week.

"I keep looking for a fault in the plan and I don't see it," says Fiorile. "I think people are generally pretty pleased."

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.