LOS ANGELES (TheStreet) -- The focus of CBS Corp.'s (CBS) first-quarter earnings call wasn't the company's better-than-expected performance or higher retransmission fees. Nor was it that CBS was once again the most-watched broadcast network.
It was Hulu.
The video on-demand venture from CBS rivals Comcast (CMCSA), Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) and Disney (DIS) had CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves excited now that Hulu has started buying up syndicated series such as Seinfeld for hefty sums in a bid to compete with Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX).
"SVOD (subscription video on demand) is now more competitive than ever in terms of buying premium content as evidenced as Hulu's recent spending spree, which is another good sign for us going forward," Moonves said on Thursday's post-earnings call with analysts. "We're selling SVOD in a big way."
CBS is also making more of its content available over the Internet through its standalone Showtime offering, which Moonves said will launch in the "coming months."
The Showtime service will compete head-on with Time Warner's (TWX) HBO Now, and Netflix.
But Hulu's entry into the big spending stakes of original and syndicated content seemed to excite Moonves even more. Hulu's more aggressive position is good news for network broadcasters as they seek to take pressure off of traditional TV ad revenue, which has slowed as ratings -- especially those among younger viewers advertisers desire most -- have tumbled in recent years.