Google's YouTube has been rumored to be working on a television streaming service that can compete with the likes of DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue and others. And now, one of its partners might have let those plans slip.
Speaking on Monday at the UBS Global Media and Communications conference in New York, CBS CEO Les Moonves suggested that he might be bringing his programming to a service owned by YouTube. "It’s not just economic factors," Moonves said in response to a question about what it would take for him to offer CBS content on streaming services. "We’ve been able to make a deal, as you said with, well we haven’t announced yet, potentially with YouTube."
According to Business Insider, which earlier reported on the comments, the "as you said" was in response to claims by the unidentified interviewer saying reports had surfaced suggesting CBS had inked a deal for a YouTube service.
Over the last several months, rumors have been swirling that YouTube is planning a streaming service it would call Unplugged. While details are slim, reports say YouTube is hoping to offer Unplugged across smartphones, set-top boxes, and computers, and include content from a wide array of providers. It would also like to get the price below the $35 entry fee for subscribing to the market's latest service, DirecTV Now.
CBS has been one of the major holdouts for streaming services and has largely stood on the sidelines as competitors like NBC and Fox have inked deals with streaming services. Instead, the network has offered its own streaming app, called All Access, to complement the programming it broadcasts across the U.S.
CBS was a conspicuous omission on the new DirecTV Now, which launched last week, calling those at the conference to query Moonves on when he might come around to the service. While he said a deal hasn't yet been inked, he was "assuming" something could be agreed upon between the parties. His comments on YouTube, however, indicate that he's already found a deal he likes with that provider.
For its part, YouTube hasn't commented on any plans for the future, and at Business Insider's Ignition conference on Tuesday, the company's head of product Neal Mohan was noncommittal when discussing a possible live-TV streaming service. "We work with traditional [TV] partners very closely," Mohan said. "We've been working with them for years."