CBS: We rejected Apple TV subscription service because it would affect existing revenue

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CBS has confirmed rumours that Apple was going to create a television subscription service. It has also confirmed that it rejected the proposal from Cupertino, even when Steve Jobs personally approached its CEO.

Why? The company was afraid it could cannibalise existing revenue streams.

“I told Steve, ‘You know more than me about 99 percent of things but I know more about the television business,” Moonves said.

The comments came from its CEO Leslie Moonves, who was the keynote speaker at the UCLA Entertainment Symposium. While it was heavily known – of course with rumours – that Apple approached CBS and negotiations broke down, Cupertino has not actually confirmed that such a service was in the pipeline.

However, it’s not like Moonves is entirely against the web and digital streaming. The company has signed deals with Apple’s rivals Netflix and Amazon; while its sister channel, The CW, has embraced Hulu. Moonves notes that the streaming deals for The CW have made it “from a losing proposition to being a (money maker)”. CBS has also noted that it has had a positive impact to the company’s financial statements as a whole.

Apple’s plan to have a subscription streaming service, however, doesn’t appear to be coming in 2012 – despite some analyst predictions. The company is even reportedly struggling to make deals with companies to the service – and Mashable attributes it to the battle of content, where companies are paying more to secure major deals with movie and television studios.

And then we get into the problematic international dealings, which are even more complex.

So, we can safely say that it is in the backburner. And Apple knows that it will most likely not deliver such a service – why do you think it allowed rival Netflix on the service? So it didn’t make Apple TV a ‘novelty’ product.

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