Google CEO Mum on CBS Deal

Google CEO Sundar Pichai wouldn’t take the bait when asked if YouTube has indeed secured a distribution deal with CBS.

“I can’t comment on any specific discussions,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, said Thursday on the Q4 earnings call for Google parent company Alphabet. “We work very closely with TV networks on their individual shows. It’s a big part of the YouTube experience. You’ll see us work hard to make these partnerships deeper and bring more content to our users.”

The question comes up about three months after reports surfaced that YouTube had signed up CBS for a coming OTT-TV service to be called YouTube Unplugged. At the time, industry sources confirmed that YouTube and CBS had struck a deal and that YouTube was holding similar talks with other networks, including Fox and ABC.

In the meantime, YouTube continues to forge relationships with networks and tie-ins to individual shows like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.  Of recent note, YouTube and Syfy collaborated on a video campaign focused on driving awareness around the season two premiere of The Magicians.

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