Once again, CBS broke from the TV network pack in upfront week by focusing on its success in broadcast TV — with little mention of new data or ad sales products.
“It’s been a long week with a lot of jargon,” CBS Network Sales President Jo Anne Ross told the audience at Carnegie Hall. “So out of respect for your intellect and your time, we’re only going to give you one acronym: CBS. The C stands for ‘cut,’ and the BS is what you’ve already heard enough of this week.”
She says the company can offer sales on other platforms, including CBS All Access and CBS VOD, “along with proven data.” But she adds that reach and targeting — words that have been used a lot in other presentations — “are meaningless without the premium content that attracts the audiences you want.”
CEO Les Moonves picked up the theme that CBS is “essential to you, our advertisers.”
He says that “everyone is now coming to the same conclusion that we came to a long time ago: Broadcast television remains the single best and most effective medium for advertising.”
Despite predictions that lots of dollars would move from TV to digital platforms, “that is obviously not happening,” Moonves says. “Digital advertising sometimes lacks accuracy and credibility. As a result, there is a clear shift in advertising back to network television.”
He also attacked basic cable, which “does not have the reach of broadcast” and where “most of its channels are seeing major declines in ratings and distribution.”
The CEO says that other network owners “are trying to redefine reach, [but] CBS is already the very definition of reach.”
As traditional and digital distributors create new bundles of channels, “We’re going to be there,” he said.
But CBS All Access, the $5.99-a-month streaming service, is the only place to see “a live stream of the network, a full stack of every single current CBS show and thousands of hours of on-demand CBS library programming.”