HBO hasn’t even launched its standalone streaming service yet and there’s already some competition brewing. Showtime doesn’t want to be left out of the rise of cord cutting and CBS chief Les Moonves has promised a similar standalone streaming service “in the not-too-distant future.” According to Moonves, “The days of the 500 channel universe are over,” and the age of all-you-can-stream services has begun.
“The days of the 500 channel universe are over,” as programmers begin to offer their products directly to consumers outside of the traditional pay-TV bundle, CBS chief Les Moonves told investors this morning at Deutsche Bank Securities 2015 Media, Internet & Telecom Conference. And Showtime will participate in the change by launching a product similar to the just announced $14.99 a month HBO Now “in the not-too-distant future.” Moonves has been having conversations with “the normal suspects” including cable and satellite distributors who initially “were skeptical: is this going to hurt the business?” But now “there’s been a bit of interest – I think the floodgate is now open.” Indeed, “we got a number of calls yesterday from existing players and digital players that we’ve talked to in the past.… The content we have at Showtime is also premium. I don’t think there’s any way, shape, or form for anybody to look at [the launch of HBO Now] other than as a major positive for premium cable.”