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Big networks best positioned to leverage digital opportunities: Moonves

CANNES: Is network television going to head the way of the dinosaurs? Well, if they are they will be of the raptor variety, fleet footed aggressive and highly adaptive.That was CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves delivering his keynote address at Mipcom on Monday making the point that when it comes to delivering mass audiences, it will always remain the networks that do it best.

The digital world and all the avenues it is opening up provides great opportunity for those who can command a significant share of the audience day after day, year after year. And it is only the big television networks around the world that can deliver. "We are the guys who feed the world what people want to watch in really big numbers," Moonves asserted.

In the new multi-platform world, the new digital universe, it is branded content from the networks across the world that will be able to feed this ever expanding universe.

Multiple platforms are always going to need content so the networks are actually well positioned to benefit from this demand. Ever new ways of reaching audiences means ever new revenue opportunities, Moonves pointed out.

"We?re continuing to focus on high quality mass appeal programming. Every new platform is an empty shell without compelling content."

And Mooves? knockout line delivered to all ?upstart tech mavens? who might presume that the networks are about to go away anytime soon? "Wireless is useless if hitless!"

And who delivers those mass appeal hits? The big networks naturally.

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