Following the much awaited reveal of HBO’s standalone streaming service, the premium network’s cable rivals are eager to get a piece of the action themselves. Both followed HBO’s original announcement last year, of plans for a streaming service, with their own. Now that HBO’s is starting to materialize, the pressure is on for Showtime, Starz, and others to catch up. Les Moonves, CEO of CBS, which also owns Showtime, indicated as much when speaking at an event in Palm Beach, Florida this week. According to Moonves “the floodgates are now open.”
The CBS CEO also echoed comments of Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes, acknowledging concern from current pay-TV providers that these standalone offerings could cut into their own sales. But he was also quick to admit that, like it or not, OTT offerings are not going away and that networks and cable companies alike would be wise to embrace them as CBS has, rather stop them.