• CBS Sees $3 Billion In New Distribution Revenue Ahead

    CBS hosted an "Upfront for Investors" yesterday, and as The Hollywood Reporter noted, its executives envision potentially $3 billion in new, high-margin revenue coming from retransmission consent payments, reverse compensation from TV affiliates, international TV syndication and emerging digital distributors. It was no coincidence that just this week CBS announced a 2-year distribution deal with Netflix for mainly library programs, that one analyst valued at $200 million.

    Commenting on the Netflix deal, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves noted that advertising and syndication are the company's 2 big revenue streams, and Netflix distribution doesn't harm either of them. "Do no harm" to existing revenues is a mantra I hear often from content executives these days, considering new digital distribution opportunities. As I wrote this week, Netflix's willingness and ability to pay top dollar for library content is giving it a big competitive advantage relative to other players. As CBS's rosy forecast underscores, the approach is also a big win for premium content owners.