The new Trek series airing on CBS All Access could have gone to almost any streaming service, said Les Moonves.
Moonves, president and CEO of CBS, spoke to CBS investors at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference about the popularity of streaming services.
“A lot of conversation went into [selling to someone other than CBS All Access], and Star Trek is the family jewel,” said Moonves. “Paramount owns the film rights, but we retain the television rights.
“So we said, we have this property, a very important property...Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, they all offered us a lot of money. They all wanted it very badly.
“CBS is really serious about this. They’ve taken this crown jewel of a property and put it in a place where they know there are so many millions of Star Trek fans that [CBS] will pay for this.
“It was a decision that took a lot of thought, because we could have taken the quick bucks from Netflix, but it shows we’re investing in a property and we really believe in the future.”
For those who hate advertisements, the service may be offered without the ads for an extra fee. “We estimate that the advertising is worth about four dollars [per subscription],” said Moonves, “so we’re exploring the idea that for $5.99 you can get All Access with advertisements, and for $9.99 you can do it without advertising.”
Star Trek is only the beginning for CBS All Access. “As you know, in January of ’17, we will have the new Star Trek series on the air, which we know there are millions of big, big fans who will sign up for [it],” said Moonves. “And that’s only the beginning of our intent to produce more and more original programming to go on All Access.”