CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves has not been shy about his ill feelings towards the AutoHop, a new feature from satellite broadcaster Dish Network that makes skipping ads in TV shows recorded off of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox as easy as pushing a button.
"I can't produce premium shows like 'CSI' without advertising," Moonves told the Los Angeles Times this year. He reiterated that thought on a call with Wall Street analysts Wednesday saying, "the fact of the matter is, we produce content and need to get paid for it."
But every man apparently does have his price, even Moonves. S&P Capital analyst Tuna Amobi asked Moonves on the call if there were "any scenarios where you might consider trading off advertising revenue if you felt that you could be adequately compensated by pay TV affiliate operators that are offering ad skipping functionalities?”
"I suppose if Dish wanted to pay us $5 a sub, we might consider letting them do that," Moonves responded.
Although Moonves was being flip, his remark points to what this battle is really about -- and it's not just skipping commercials.