CBS Exec Spills Beans on Apple TV Project

Apple TV
CBS CEO Les Moonves spilled the beans about the existence of an Apple TV project Thursday when he told Wall Street analysts that his company had declined to work with Apple due to the terms.

Mr. Moonves isn’t the first person to talk openly about the Apple TV—the late Steve Jobs can claim that distinction, talking about the project to his biographer, Walter Isaacson. 

In Steve Jobs, Mr. Issacson said that Mr. Jobs said that the living room TV was the next area that he wanted his company to tackle, and that he had “finally cracked” the code for how to make an Internet-connected TV work well.

Mr. Moonves is, however, the first TV executive to publicly mention the product, and he’s also the first to say that his company had declined to be a part of Apple’s TV efforts. 

The reason behind his decision, according to a GigaOM report, was that Apple was proposing a revenue split based on ad revenues. CBS prefers to take its money up front in the form of straight licensing fees, which is what the company has successfully and profitably done with Hulu, Netflix and Amazon.

The site also noted that Mr. Moonves has a history of mentioning secret negotiations in public. In January of this year, he mentioned a deal with Netflix for distribution in Latin America a month before Netflix announced it was expanding its operations into that region.