In a glitzy presentation yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, CBS Corp. tried to send a strong message to the technology industry: We get it.
Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves — a former actor and TV producer who’s not generally considered a technophile — announced a burst of digital media deals in a carefully orchestrated show, surrounded by a cadre of Internet impresarios including YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley. Taken individually, none of the partnerships are likely to generate significant revenue for the company. Among them are efforts to add Internet components to Showtime’s “The L Word” and radio’s “Opie & Anthony.”
But the deals move the old-line broadcaster closer to its stated goal of being one of the TV industry’s leading innovators on the Web. Mr. Moonves also hinted at some potentially transformational digital deals still in the works.
In an interview, Mr. Moonves declined to discuss what digital cards he hopes to play in the coming weeks and months. But people close to the situation say CBS and Google Inc. are in talks for an agreement in which the Internet giant would broker certain ad sales for CBS’s radio and television properties. Asked if CBS was in such a negotiation, Mr. Moonves replied: “We are in talks with everyone.” A Google spokesman declined to comment.