Moonves May Yank Cbs Off Dish Network
CBS chief Les Moonves vowed on Wednesday to yank his network's programming off DISH network if the satellite distributor continues to offer its Hopper DVR to subscribers. "Hopper cannot exist," Moonves said at an investors conference in Beverly Hills. "If Hopper exists, we will not be in business with [DISH] -- it's pure and simple. We cannot produce episodes for $3.5 million apiece and have the people at DISH say, 'We will pull out the commercials.' We will not be on DISH. We will go elsewhere." The Hopper technology allows viewers to skip commercials on programs recorded on their DVRs automatically. It does not function with live broadcasts. CBS and other networks are attempting to attack the Hopper DVRs in court, but many analysts have expressed doubts that the courts will side with the broadcasters. Moonves also said that he is determined to continue to press CBS's legal battle against Barry Diller's Aereo service unless it begins to pay retransmission fees to the network. In addition, he suggested that CBS may expand its cable presence by acquiring a general entertainment network. "You always say, could we manage some of the cable assets that are out there better than some of the other people? There's no question about that," he said. "We've been the No. 1 network nine of the last 10 years. We know this business. We know how to make networks work," he said. Moonves indicated that CBS is already reaping more than $1 billion annually from its retransmission deals with cable and satellite providers without ever experiencing a blackout during negotiations. "It's not that we're not tough negotiators," he said. "People are realizing the value of our content."