CBS CEO: Our streaming service beats Sling TV on subscribers

Les Moonves says CBS All Access, the broadcaster's standalone streaming service, tops the 100,000 people who have signed up for Dish Network's Sling TV so far.

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Joan E. Solsman
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CBS CEO Les Moonves said his goal is to reach a deal with the NFL to include football games on CBS All Access. Getty Images

CBS All Access, the broadcaster's $5.99-per-month online streaming service, has more subscribers than the 100,000 people who have signed up for Dish Network's Sling TV, CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves said Wednesday.

"I'm not going to give away our subs," he said at a conference in Palm Beach, Fla., when he was asked about Sling TV's 100,000 trial users in the first month of that service. "It's more than that number, I will tell you that," he said. (Editors' note: CNET is owned by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.)

CBS All Access kicked off in 14 US television markets in October. Sling TV, a multichannel online offering from satellite provider Dish, launched nationwide in February.

Consumers' video habits increasingly include Internet viewing, sometimes even supplanting the traditional pay-TV packages of a cable or satellite provider when so-called "cord cutters" decide to drop their service altogether. Television companies are responding to the demand by launching services like CBS All Access, Sling TV, HBO Now and anticipated multichannel offerings from Verizon and Sony. Because this response to online video viewing is relatively untested, industry interest in the subscriber numbers for these new streaming services is high.

Moonves' announcement comes the same week premium cable channel HBO announced that its standalone service, HBO Now, will launch in April for $14.99 a month. HBO struck a deal with Apple to initially allow only owners of iPhone, iPad or Apple TV to sign up for the service, leaving other devices like Roku or Google's Chromecast out of the picture for the first three months.

CBS is planning to launch a similar service for its own premium cable network, Showtime. On Wednesday, Moonves said consumers "will see the Showtime offering out there in the not-too-distant future."

CBS All Access launched in October, providing thousands of episodes on demand of current shows, their previous seasons and classic shows, as well as the ability to stream local CBS stations live in 14 of the largest US markets, though the service lacks NFL broadcasts. On Wednesday, Moonves said that the company is "very excited to roll it out to the rest of the country" in the next few months.

Moonves also said that CBS' goal is to reach a deal with the NFL to include football games on All Access.

"We're obviously going to put the Super Bowl OTT on that," he said, using the short-hand term for "over-the-top" content that streams over the Internet.

Dish's Sling TV launched last month, a first-of-its-kind multichannel live TV service solely online. Its basic subscription of 16 channels like ESPN, AMC, Disney Channel, TNT and HGTV is $20 a month, and consumers can buy add-on packages providing extra channels for sports or kids programming. The company offers a one-week free trial.