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CBS CEO: CBS Broadcast Network Could Be Used to Drive CBS All Access Subscribers

As part of their 2018 Fourth Quarter earnings, CBS announced that they have surpassed 8 million direct-to-consumer subscribers of CBS All Access and Showtime. The company originally projected that it would take another two years to reach that number of subscribers.

The service now has an ambitious goal to reach 25 million domestic subscribers of both of their OTT services by 2022. On their earnings call, they shared some insights on how they expect to get there. CBS Interim CEO Joseph Ianniello, who replaced Les Moonves in September, explained that they might bring some of their CBS All Access library to television on the CBS broadcast network.

Joseph Ianniello, CBS Interim CEO:

“What if we took season one of The Good Fight and put it on the CBS broadcast network to drive subscribers back to CBS All Access. And so, we’re literally thinking all of the possibilities through. It has to be broad enough to have mass appeal for the CBS broadcast network. So, we’re not going to ever lower our standards there.”

Ianniello continued that “because the quality of the content we’re producing at All Access…the promotional platform that the network has is bigger than the streaming platform. So, we’re really thinking about that going forward.” By leveraging CBS broadcast network, CBS All Access would be able to reduce customer acquisition cost and be “an efficient use of the intellectual property.”

This wouldn’t be the first time the CBS has used content from other properties on the broadcast network. In 2008, CBS aired 12 episodes of the Showtime series Dexter during the 100-day WGA writer’s strike. The content was edited to fit broadcast standards and the shorter time slot.

CBS All Access has aggressively added new original content especially around the Star Trek universe. The company recently started their second season of Star Trek: Discovery and will be adding an animated series called Star Trek: Lower Decks, as well as one featuring Patrick Stewart as Jean Luc Picard and another with Crazy Rich Asians star Michelle Yeoh. The service also has a reboot of The Twilight Zone with Jordan Peele coming in April.