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Les Moonves

Here’s What Will Make The Apple TV Different

Apple CEO Tim Cook is interviewed by NBC News anchor Brian Williams tonight, and in a preview clip, he hints that Apple has something brewing in the TV space.

“When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years,” Cook told Williams. “It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”

As it happens, on Tuesday of this week, Les Moonves, the CEO of CBS, said that he met with Cook a few weeks ago, though he wouldn’t say about what. Last week, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes insinuated that he also met with Cook recently. Apple is clearly working on a TV product, but given the current state of TV sets and cable boxes, what would make it different?

The two keys are software and content.

An Apple TV set will undoubtedly feature the software that the Apple TV product currently has. It makes it easy to watch videos from Netflix and iTunes on your existing TV set. That said, at this moment in time, Apple needs to give customers access to the shows that want to watch in order to have a succesful product, that is the content side of the equation.

There are two ways to do this: partner with a cable or satellite company, or partner with the content companies themselves.

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CBS In Talks to Bring TV Shows to Hulu Plus

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Well this is interesting. CBS, the lone broadcast network to not have its programming available on Hulu, is in talks to bring its content to the Hulu Plus premium service. CBS CEO Les Moonves revealed the news in an interview with Reuters.

“Our goal is to get paid for our content in as many different ways as we can without hurting the mother ship,” Moonves said. “The key here is flexibility.”

If CBS were to bring its programming to the $9.99 a month service, it would add a lot of value. Right now, the service relies on access to library content, slightly higher video quality and the ability to access Hulu content from other platforms. CBS would bring dozens of shows that aren’t available on the free service.

CBS long ago decided to syndicate its content on its own terms, through the CBS Audience Network. This meant that CBS content was available far and wide… just not on Hulu, which is the most successful of the premium content websites.

Here’s hoping Hulu and CBS can strike a deal.