CBS Affiliates Board, Network Agree on All Access OTT Terms

Following three months of negotiations, the CBS affiliates board and the CBS network have come to terms related to CBS All Access, the network's $5.99 a month over-the-top service.

Participating affiliates get what Michael Fiorile, CBS affiliates board chairman, called a "piece" of the subscription monies, with the percentage ramping up as the subscription rolls increase.

"We are excited to have reached this groundbreaking agreement, which begins a new era in distribution by CBS affiliates in your respective markets," said Fiorile, president and CEO of Dispatch Printing Company, in an email to affiliates March 13.

Affiliate groups, such as Sinclair, Nexstar and Dispatch, can opt into the agreement the affiliates board has ironed out. If they don't, broadcasters can negotiate with CBS directly on a separate All Access agreement. In his email, Fiorile said the arrangement "reflects the interests of CBS affiliates."

While the networks' affiliate boards meet in conjunction with the NAB Show in Las Vegas each year, the CBS affiliates body will meet at the conference as well on April 14, specifically to discuss the terms.

CBS announced its All Access product in October. Leslie Moonves, CBS president and CEO, called it "another key step in the company's long-standing strategy of monetizing our local and national content in the ways that viewers want it."

Fiorile and Barry Faber, executive VP and general counsel at Sinclair, were the point people on the affiliates board's end of the deal. Ray Hopkins, CBS president of television networks distribution, and Marc DeBevoise, senior VP and general manager of CBS Interactive's entertainment division, were key figures on the network side.

CBS did not comment.

The agreement also covers Syncbak, the technology platform driving All Access.

"It was a tough negotiation, but it went well," said Fiorile. "Everyone is 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.