Moonves Says He Wants More From Dish Network

A day after The Walt Disney Co. and Dish Network announced a groundbreaking distribution agreement, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves says he’s going to want more from the satellite company when CBS’ deal expires at the end of the year.

After long negotiations, Disney and Dish reached a deal that called for Dish not to use its auto-hop DVR technology to let subscribers automatically black out ads on recorded primetime shows. The deal also gives Dish broad digital rights to stream Disney networks, including the ability to set up a web-based virtual MVPD.

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference Wednesday, Moonves called the Disney-Dish deal “a great start. It’s a great start to say after three days they can use it. It’s not quite enough for us because we’re going to want some different things.”

Moonves called the deal a “win-win for both companies,” and an acknowledgement by Dish “that yes, we can’t zap commercials while content providers are getting paid for it significantly.”

CBS’ deal with Dish is up at the end of the year. “It’s going to be an interesting conversation with Charlie [Ergen, Dish’s chairman] as they always are,” Moonves said. “We expect a good deal to come out of it. We hope so.”

Moonves also said that CBS was discussing letting its current distribution partners set up virtual MVPDs using CBS networks and content.

“Everybody’s talking about over the top,” Moonves said. “The current ecosystem works very well but a new way to get paid for your linear content is a good thing if it’s done properly with your appropriate partners.”

Moonves said he thought a virtual MVPD deal was something “you’ll probably see in the future, but you’ll probably see it in concert with our partners.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.