It took a while to convince him to pull the trigger, but once he did, Les Moonves said he was sold.
The CBS chairman touted his company's CBS All Access streaming service, saying it and other "over-the-top" services are the future. And the new Star Trek series launching in January will pave the way for Moonves' app.
"You will want to pay $5.99 to get Star Trek, and that will get the ball rolling," Moonves told a crowd at the Cannes Lions festival in France, according to the New York Post. "We want to offer you something you can't get anywhere else. What better way to do it than with the crown jewels?"
Moonves calls himself an "old network guy," saying it took a year for him to conclude offering a service like CBS All Access was the way to go. In fact, CBS packaged both its network offerings and All Access shows into a single upfront advertising sales, where the networks pre-sell slots for fall and spring programs. Although Moonves did not provide numbers, he did call this year's upfront season "particularly strong."
CBS plans to air the pilot episode of the new Star Trek series on the network in January, making subsequent episodes available only on its premium streaming service. Star Trek is expected to go 13 episodes, and will be followed in the spring by a spinoff of the once popular CBS drama "The Good Wife."
Subscribers will have to pay $6 monthly for the service, but will have access not only to those original programs, but a large portion of CBS' existing library, much of it inherited from Paramount Pictures. That includes the Star Trek television library, from the original series on.
The new Star Trek series showrunner, Bryan Fuller, shot down some of the gossip surrounding the series in recent months, including reports that it would take place between "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation." He also denied the show would take on an anthology format similar to the popular "American Horror Story."