The CBS chief is taking Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen at his word after he said this week that there’s a way for broadcasters to benefit from his Hopper DVR, which automatically zaps ads on recorded shows. “We’re very flexible. We’re willing to negotiate,” Les Moonves told investors today at the Guggenheim Securities TMT Symposium. Calling Ergen “a very smart man” he says “if there’s a way to do this that benefits everybody, we’re very open to it.” But the bottom line has to be that “we need to get paid for our content…. We spend $4M an episode for NCIS. I have to pay for it.” Broadcasters have sued Dish alleging that the Hopper infringes on their copyrights; Dish counters that it simply automates the ad skipping that DVR viewers already do. The fate of the device is an issue in Dish’s current program carriage negotiations with Disney. Ergen says the Hopper “has built-in technology that can target commercials to customers in a better [way]” and “give the broadcaster more revenue” — although he added that “it’s not a proven concept yet.” READ MORE »
The CBS chief isn’t prepared to stop once he persuades advertisers to pay for viewers who watch commercials as much as seven days after a show airs — a change he expects to see next year from the current live-plus-three-days. “We’re pushing eventually for live plus 30,” Les Moonves told investors this morning at the RBC Capital Markets Technology, Internet, Media and Telecommunications Conference. Viewers increasingly watch shows on DVRs, VOD, and online. As a result, for a series such as CBS’ Hostages “when you count 30 days more, the number [of viewers] almost doubles,” he says. Moonves adds that buyers should be willing to pay. “If you show the advertisers that a person is really watching them, that’s a good thing….Advertisers are paying for the eyeballs that are watching their spots.” But Disney CEO Bob Iger, for one, says it may take longer than Moonves thinks to persuade buyers to even raise the current threshold to seven days. “I’m not sure it’s going to happen very quickly,” Iger said last week. “I don’t think the advertising community is going to move that fast.”
Did you miss Deadline’s top TV stories of this week? Check them out here now:
Ben Affleck & Glenn Gordon Caron Crime Drama Gets Fox Pilot Order, Affleck To Helm
By Nellie Andreeva - EXCLUSIVE: One of the hottest filmmakers, Oscar winner Ben Affleck, and one of the best-regarded series creators, …
“You will see at our third quarter earnings that there was no harm done to CBS Corporation,” the company chief told investors at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference …
The CBS chief rejects Time Warner Cable’s view that networks have too much power to win big price increases in pay TV carriage negotiations, and Washington should help level the playing field. “These deals should be made in the free market,” Les …
TCA: Les Moonves Hits Back At “Flat Is The New Up” And “Bastard Child” Comments, Agrees Broadcast Shows Don’t Get Respect
NBC topper Bob Greenblatt raised a few eyebrows with his comments during NBC’s executive session on Saturday that “at this point in our business, flat is the new up” in broadcast ratings and that “broadcast now is the bastard child” of television as he suggested that broadcast series don’t get the respect they deserve. “I don’t necessarily agree with (the ‘flat is the new up’ assessment), but every network has their own point of view about it,” CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves said at TCA today. “We’re confident we’re going to be up this year. We were up last year. Yes, we had the Super Bowl, but I don’t necessarily agree with that statement. I also don’t think we’re the bastard child of the entertainment business.”
He later did list arguments in support of Greenblatt’s complaint that network shows don’t get much respect. “I know what he meant. He meant when it comes to the Emmys, the networks don’t get respect in terms of — look, they’re competing against some phenomenal programs. It’s hard to put The Good Wife up against Game Of Thrones. Game Of Thrones probably cost three times as much and takes three times as long to shoot. And it’s a brilliant good show. I love it as much as anybody. But there are some terrific shows on network that do get passed over, and the competition from cable in terms of that has become pretty extreme. And so the cable shows get a lot more attention for a lot fewer numbers.
EXCLUSIVE 10 AM… UPDATEd 12:30 PM : Deadline has learned the meetings were an intimate preview of the new Xbox One capabilities before next week’s E3 confab where secretive Microsoft will unveil details of the device’s technology. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was escorted by his entertainment studios president Nancy Tellem for the visit late last week to lobby her closest Hollywood pals: her former boss CBS chief Les Moonves, Sony TV boss Steve Mosko, and WME co-CEOS Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell. It’s all part of Ballmer’s effort to drum up exclusive content after Microsoft intends to launch 40+ new voice-controlled customized TV and entertainment apps on Xbox One. But it was also more, one insider tells Deadline, “to reiterate Microsoft’s commitment to transitioning its business to devices and services and to explaining that Hollywood entertainment is a big part of that. Microsoft in the past has just dipped a toe but now has a real commitment.” Tellem wanted to give Ballmer 3 different perspective: the broadcaster, the independent producer, and the agent. Deadline has learned that Ballmer touted “what we could do with” the Xbox One in sports, music, reality and scripted programming, promising execs that they’d see more sophisticated technology and that his company “doesn’t want to be a cable channel”. He also met Tellem’s Santa Monica team for the first time and outlined his vision for a new Xbox One world. Ballmer’s trip to Hollywood will only anger more hard-core gamers who already were miffed by Microsoft’s focus on entertainment when it unveiled the product on May 21. (Xbox One will be on store shelves later this year). The hard-core gamers fear Microsoft sees its new Xbox One more as a souped-up Internet-connected, voice- and motion-controlled cable box than a next-gen gaming console.
The CBS chief and his colleagues introduced their upfront sales pitches to advertisers today by taking a victory lap — a contrast to other networks’ efforts this week to promote their digital initiatives. …
Per tradition, top CBS executives unveiled their fall schedule at an informal breakfast event this morning where they took some jabs at the other broadcast networks. A day after Jimmy Kimmel once again skewered CBS at the ABC upfront presentation, CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves had this to say: “I was very flattered when Jimmy Kimmel called us ‘smug motherfuckers. You don’t call somebody ‘smug motherfuckers’ unless they’re smug and they’re winning, so we’ll try to be a little less smug and a little more gracious, but that’s hard for me, as you know. But anyway, Jimmy, ABC is still going to finish fourth in 18-49.” To ABC: “If your late-night guy is the funniest you have, keep him there as long as you can.”
Related: CBS 2013-14 Schedule
CBS’ head of scheduling Kelly Kahl kept the zingers coming.
No surprise about who topped the list of 2012′s highest paid CEOs at the media companies whose compensation practices I track most closely. (See here for an explanation). CBS’ Les Moonves returns to the head of the pack with $62.2M, even though his package was 11.1% smaller than it was in 2011. That was an anomaly: The top 20 collectively made $542.7M, up from $416.6M in 2011, according to company proxy statements filed at the SEC. It took $25.9M to crack the Top 10 — last year Time Warner Cable’s Glenn Britt made it with $16.4M. The most notable change in this year’s list vs 2011 is the jump by Liberty Media’s Greg Maffei to No. 2 from No. 28 as his company adjusted stock options just in case the feds change the corporate deduction this year for performance-based compensation.
Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer also joins the top 10 following her move there from Google. Her appearance also highlights a quirk in this year’s list which has more CEOs than companies: Yahoo had three CEOs last year (Mayer is still there) and there were two apiece at Sirius XM (James Meyer replaced Mel Karmazin) and Cinemark (Tim Warner is now in charge). Also, remember that this list just includes corporate CEOs, not division chiefs or board chairs. I’ll be back soon with a list of the highest-paid media execs. The numbers on the right are the amount in millions of dollars for the total compensation as reported by each company.
Here’s our list of 2012′s highest-paid media CEOs: