CBS Details How Steve Jobs Wanted Their Content for Apple TV

A year ago, Steve Jobs approached CBS CEO, Leslie Moonves, to hammer out a deal to get CBS TV content for the rumoured Apple TV, but he declined the offer, as noted in his weekend talk at the UCLA Entertainment Symposium:

Moonves told a conference audience that he met with Jobs, the late Apple CEO, and heard a pitch for what was billed as a subscription content service, but ultimately he said he wasn’t interested in providing CBS shows or films to the venture.

“I told Steve, ‘You know more than me about 99 percent of things but I know more about the television business,’ ” Moonves said, citing his concerns about providing content to a service that could disrupt CBS’ existing revenue streams. Moonves said Jobs, in characteristic fashion, strongly disagreed with his assessment.

This wasn’t the first time Moonves revealed he was against streaming content for a so called Apple TV subscription service. Back in November of 2011, during the CBS 2011 Q3 earnings call transcript, he revealed the Apple TV model was based on an advertiser split.

John Janedis – UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Guys, just going back to streaming. I think for the most part, the deals you’ve written have been guaranteed or upfront payment. So I’m wondering, looking ahead, I think the newer players that are going to be out there are going to have a harder time aggregating to subscribers. So can you talk about your appetite for deals that are success-based or non-guaranteed?

Leslie Moonves

We — frankly, we don’t believe in them. We’re not going to go out and we’ve sort of — we’ve even been against joining Apple TV, which was an advertiser split. And these deals are significant in that we are getting guaranteed cash payment. We like operating on that basis. And as you said, we’ve been able to do deals worth hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars on that basis. That is our position right now. Will we ever make a statement that that never could happen? I wouldn’t right now because we don’t know how the world evolves, but I like the way we played our hand and getting this guaranteed revenue stream is a good way to go.

We have earlier read about Apple’s difficult time in getting content for its rumoured subscription TV service. The NY Post has claimed a TV service will launch at the end of 2012, and here in Canada rumours have swirled about Apple’s talks with Rogers and Bell about a possible service.

At the end of the new iPad event, Tim Cook mentioned there was more to come in 2012. We can only imagine what’s coming next from Apple.

[via Hollywood Reporter, Seeking Alpha]