His network has joined an all-out broadcast-industry-led legal offensive to stop Barry Diller’s new business that delivers broadcast-channel feeds over the internet.
But speaking during his company’s second-quarter earnings call Thursday, CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves said he believes the media-business controversy surrounding Aereo has been overblown.
“The people who have cried, ‘Oh my god, this could hurt retransmission’ are really exaggerating greatly,’ Moonves told investment analysts shortly after CBS released Q2 numbers showing an 8 percent increase in year-over-year profits to $427 million. “It is not something I lose sleep over even for five minutes.”
How about that New York court decision last month not to enjoin Aereo? Moonves referred to that as a “minor loss we suffered in court.”
He then put it the kind of baseball terms everyone can understand: “It is not even the first out in the first inning.”
CBS achieved its big profit gains despite a slippage in second-quarter revenue to $3.48 billion from $3.59 billion — which was the result of tough comparison to a Q2 2011 that saw, among other factors, CBS sign its licensing deal with Netflix.
Referencing that agreement, Moonves said it’s renewal is “preordained.” And he told investors that CBS will be signing more digital licensing deals in the months ahead.
“The bottom line is that we will get more money for this,” he said.
CBS Corp. does not break out revenue performance for CBS Interactive digital operation, consigning its data reporting into its overal “entertainment” portfolio.