CBS is thinking about creating original content for streaming video on demand services like Netflix, an executive told a group of investors today. Asked if he could see CBS producing a studio-caliber show along the lines of Netflix's House of Cards, Global Distribution Group CEO Armando Nuñez said, "it’s definitely a possibility," adding, "we view Netflix, Amazon and all these SVOD platforms as new players. If you can get the right model to work, I can see us doing that."
CBS was in early talks to resurrect 'Jericho' as a Netflix exclusive
Last year, reports surfaced that CBS was in early talks to resurrect its popular action-drama, Jericho, as a Netflix exclusive. The show developed a passionate following, but failed to get mainstream success on broadcast TV, making it ripe for Netflix's Arrested Development treatment. Amazon also recently announced that it would be the exclusive online source for CBS’s upcoming "tentpole" series Under the Dome, but that show will still be broadcast days before it hits the web.
Syndication is a $3 billion business for CBS globally
Syndication is a $3 billion business for CBS globally, and the company is understandably apprehensive about jeopardizing existing businesses with an aggressive shift to digital distribution, which Nuñez calls "taking money from one pocket and putting into another." Lawsuits aside, consumers’ preference for time-shifted viewing and streaming on demand services haven’t done much to change how CBS does things. "[Binge viewing] doesn’t really change the model that much," said Nuñez.