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CBS: We turned down an Apple TV deal because of ad split

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CBS CEO Les Moonves says the company turned down a deal with Apple for streaming tv.

Les Moonves
Les Moonves

CBS just announced its quarterly earnings a few hours ago, and CEO Les Moonves dropped a very interesting tidbit in on the call. When asked about possible streaming deals for the network, Moonves mentioned rather casually that the company had turned down a deal with Apple for a streaming TV agreement because it was based on an ad revenue split model.

This is all very interesting to us, of course, as Apple has long been rumored to be considering just such a subscription-based streaming TV service, but, as yet, none has materialized. The wounds were recently opened again with the publication of Walter Isaacson's biography, Steve Jobs, which quotes Jobs as having very recently talked about just such a plan. Speaking about future projects which he'd hoped to get to at the late stage of his career, Isaacson writes that "he very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant."

Quoting Jobs: "It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."

While it remains to be seen if Jobs had moved the project into actual development, Moonves's statement, at least, hints that Apple has begun to make attempts at the deals which would be necessary to move into the space.