April 5, 2000
The NewsHour Media Unit is funded by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts.
TERENCE SMITH: The other big word that you hear is "interactivity."
|An interactive experience|
| TERENCE SMITH: Put them at a disadvantage?
LES MOONVES: Not, really because I think we're getting there very quickly. I think the interactivity will be on your television set very shortly.
TERENCE SMITH: Explain that. Explain that.
LES MOONVES: Well, once again, you will be able to watch a sporting event shortly and be watching an NFL football game on CBS and press a button and you'll say, OK, Dan Marino, let's find out more information, where did he go to school, and that will be on one-third of your screen, biographical information on Dan Marino.
You'll be watching ''60 Minutes," and there will be a piece on Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, let's say, you know. You'll be able to punch in at the bottom of the screen more information about him, at the same time as you are watching your "60 Minutes" piece.
TERENCE SMITH: And this would be done through WebTV?
LES MOONVES: Through WebTV or things like that or other technology that may come in directly through CBS.com, let's say, or, you know, each one of the networks obviously is becoming very active on their own, but the WebTVs of the world will become, you know, very relevant.
I think you already see it with some of the NFL games, and as you said, you know, right now it's off screen, you know. You have to go to your computer to go hand in hand with your television set. I think there will be more and more convergence as the future goes on.
TERENCE SMITH: That's, of course, the buzzword, "convergence."
LES MOONVES: That's exactly right. As I said, delivery systems.
TERENCE SMITH: Do you envision a day, and how far off, when there will be a single large screen, perhaps a flat screen on your wall in which you're doing all these things in one machine?
LES MOONVES: Absolutely. I don't know how far it's off, but I would say -- I would venture to say three to five years, there will be a lot of people who do that who in fact have the same big screen and use it quite a bit for, you know -- I think the new generation, my children who have grown up with the computer as handy as the television set, if not more so, that will just be a way of life.
TERENCE SMITH: And what does that do to the model and the structure of the broadcast networks as we know them?
LES MOONVES: Well, as I said earlier, we will have to change our advertising, you know, since we are based as an advertising medium. That's how we get our money. We're not like cable. We don't get subscription fees. We only get it from one source, and that's advertisers. We're going to have to find different ways of getting advertisers, you know.
Once again, Internet uses it differently. As I mentioned before, Internet, if you push in CBS.com and you want to see a site on "Everybody Loves Raymond," let's say, and as part of that site, we have Ray Romano doing a three-minute monologue, let's say, as an adjunct to his television show. While he's doing it, right underneath it, it will say "This monologue brought to you by Hertz," or by Budweiser or whatever.
So, if that sort of -- that type of convergence comes into your home, it's a new form of advertising. It's not, OK, let's stop the program for 30 seconds and put on the Budweiser spot. You're watching Ray Romano and you're going to get Budweiser at the same time.
TERENCE SMITH: From a consumer's point of view, is this a good thing or a bad thing?
LES MOONVES: Both, both. I think as we head towards the information age, I think any bit of information we can have access to is phenomenal. I love the fact that my kids can plug in and see Martin Luther King doing the "I had a dream" speech, you know. I'm using that example because they did. My kids actually did last week, something that wasn't possible five years ago, seven years ago.
I think the access of this information is phenomenal. I think the public is going to be so aware of their world and their surroundings, and I think it's a great thing. By the same token, we in the broadcast business, as a businessman, we're going to have to change how our thinking -- how we've been doing business for 40 years.
|Keeping the news separate|
TERENCE SMITH: Is there a particular significance for news in all of
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