CBS, Hulu partnership: Don't hold your breath, says network's Moonves
"Frankly, it's very good when you're dealing with your family jewels, when you're dealing with your hit shows, that it's very good not to turn them over to a joint venture," CBS chairman Les Moonves said Wednesday at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference. "That's how we feel. Obviously, the other guys feel differently."
"Hulu is a great application, don't get me wrong," he added. "[But] I think we're doing very well, and we're in control of our own future."
Currently, CBS distributes its shows online through its own video site, TV.com. Moonves was asked whether there's a chance that CBS and Hulu could negotiate some kind of reciprocity agreement that would allow the two sites to host each other's programming.
"There've been those conversations, obviously," he said. "At one point we had the Hulu content at TV.com," when the site was owned by CNET. But after CBS bought CNET and relaunched the site, "the other guys objected to having their content on a CBS property," and pulled it, said Moonves. "But there very well could be a day when our stuff is on Hulu and Hulu's stuff is on us and eveybody lives happily after ever."
Hulu is a joint venture between Fox owner News Corp. (NWS); NBC Universal, owned by General Electric Co. (GE); and ABC owner Walt Disney Co. (DIS) -- all competitors of CBS Corp. (CBS).