CBS Corporation announces the creation of the ’CBS interactive audience network’
New Deals Signed with AOL, Microsoft, CNET Networks, Comcast, Joost, Bebo, Brightcove, Netvibes, Sling Media and Veoh, Solidify CBS’s Position as the Most Widely Distributed Professional Content Provider Online
Existing Deals with Amazon, Apple and Yahoo! Also Included, Among Others
Both Clips and Full-Length Content to be Available in the United States and Internationally
New York – April 12, 2007 – CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS, CBS.A) announced today the creation of the CBS Interactive Audience Network which will initially include new content deals with a host of online distributors including AOL, Microsoft, CNET Networks, Comcast, Joost, Bebo, Brightcove, Netvibes, Sling Media and Veoh. The agreements, building on the Company’s existing arrangements, solidify CBS’s position as the most widely distributed professional content provider on the Web.
All content will be advertiser supported and free to the consumer. CBS will begin selling the CBS Interactive Audience Network in the coming weeks, including the upcoming Upfront marketplace. Advertising revenue will be shared between CBS and its partners. All content will be available domestically with select clips and full-length sports programming distributed worldwide.
“Today marks an important step in our strategy to distribute content broadly across the online interactive landscape on an open, non-exclusive basis,” said Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. “Each of these partners offers value to our audience and our advertisers, who can now come to CBS not only for the most watched network on television, but for the most widely distributed professional content online.”
“CBS’s ability to partner with leading next-generation interactive platforms is the best way for CBS to evolve from a content company to an audience company,” said Quincy Smith, President, CBS Interactive. “It’s really all about the user, and in building the CBS Interactive Audience Network, we are bringing our content to each unique platform of their choice. In remaining open to all online distributors and community builders — big and small —we can learn more about our existing audience, be exposed to new ones, and flexibly cater to their changing consumption habits.”
A rotating list within a specified viewing timeframe of programming from entertainment, news and sports will be offered including CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, SURVIVOR, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, CSTV GAME OF THE WEEK, CBS EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC, among others, including classic programming from the vast library of CBS Television Distribution.
CBS has previously entered into existing and ongoing content distribution arrangements with Yahoo!, Apple iTunes, Microsoft’s Xbox, Amazon UnBox and many others.
Mirroring the online strategy, CBS Mobile also employs direct agreements with each of the three largest US wireless carriers — AT&T/Cingular, Verizon Wireless and Sprint — as well as leading next generation platforms such as Qualcomm MediaFLO.
“This is definitely a progressive approach to content distribution, not only due to its scope, but also because it allows consumers to share and engage with content,” said Curt Hecht, chief digital officer at GM Planworks and a leading digital expert across Starcom MediaVest Group, one of the world’s largest media communications organizations and a division of Publicis. “By pushing beyond simple cable and satellite as distribution outlets, CBS is finding new ways to leverage the reach and scale of the portals, while also giving consumers the control they increasingly demand to share content. This is an exciting new business model and valuable to SMG as we pursue new and enduring consumer connections.”
Rino Scanzoni, Chief Investment Officer with Group M, a leading global media investment management company under WPP, one of the world’s largest communications services groups, added, “Our clients are looking for quality content to resonate their message and for maximum distribution to activate results. CBS will clearly achieve both these objectives, hands down.”
Online partners included in the CBS Interactive Audience Network include:
· AOL - AOL is one of the largest Web networks in the United States and attracts more than 108 million unique visitors a month.
“CBS produces some of the best shows on television, and has one of the richest libraries of classic programs anywhere, so their decision to make their content available on AOL is very exciting for consumers,” said Kevin Conroy, Executive Vice President, AOL. “We are delighted to be a distribution partner for CBS. This will further increase the amount of high quality content available on Video.AOL.com and across our network of Web properties.”
· Microsoft - CBS content will be available on MSN Video, one of the leading licensed content sites on the internet. MSN Video consumers will be able to search for, browse and play content from CBS as well as other MSN Video content partners in the MSN Video player, a seamless and easy-to-use experience. MSN Video streams hundreds of millions of videos every month, to an MSN worldwide audience that is over 460 million unique users monthly.
“With one of the most popular programmed video services on the web, MSN video is the best place to go for access to all the best high quality, licensed video content in one place,” said Kevin Johnson, President, Platforms and Services Division, Microsoft. “Our alliance with CBS will allow us to provide consumers an amazing array of video content in a safe and legal manner. The addition of CBS’s most popular content is another great win for MSN customers, for our content partners at CBS, and for our advertising customers.”
· CNET Networks, Inc. - TV.com, a popular brand in the CNET Networks (NASDAQ: CNET) portfolio and a leading content and community site for TV fans will create an interactive environment for the hit television franchise CSI where TV.com’s audience can discuss the latest buzz around the show.
“TV.com attracts today’s most passionate and engaged TV fans by creating a community that enables viewers to deepen their bonds with their favorite shows and connect with other fans,” said Neil Ashe, CEO, CNET Networks. “We have millions of people coming to the site each week to discuss CSI and create buzz about a show that they love. We’re excited to work with CBS to feed our audience’s desire for more content and interactivity for one of today’s hottest television franchises.”
· Comcast – CBS content will appear on Comcast’s entertainment sites, including Comcast.net, the company’s video-rich portal and Fancast, a new national entertainment site scheduled to launch this summer, where people will be able to search and discover television and movie content, while managing their viewing experience across multiple devices. Comcast is the nation’s leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services.
· Joost – Through Joost, the world’s first broadcast-quality Internet television service, viewers can watch CBS programs through a customizable platform with advanced television viewing features such as links that lead to more information or related websites based on the content; and a variety of plug-in applications, such as instant messaging, message boards and news tickers.
“Joost is a long-term solution for content owners seeking to expand their audiences in the online world. A state-of-the-art global distribution platform, Joost is the perfect place for CBS to offer its channels, brands and premium programming to online audiences,” said Yvette Alberdingkthijm, executive vice president of content strategy and acquisition for Joost. “By working with Joost, CBS can get closer to its audiences while retaining maximum programming flexibility and control over its channels.”
· Bebo - Bebo is a global social networking website which aims to bring together like-minded individuals who are creative, expressive and socially aware. Bebo has over 31 million members worldwide and is the largest social network in the U.K., Ireland and New Zealand and one of the top 3 social networks in the U.S., Canada and Australia.
“Bebo is committed to providing the best environment for people to express themselves, discover their passions and communicate and collaborate with others”, said Michael Birch, Co-founder and CEO, Bebo. “Bebo users spend more time on Bebo than on any other website and our partnership with CBS ensures that its favorite CBS content reaches this highly engaged audience.”
· Brightcove - Brightcove will feature ad-supported CBS video channels on its popular consumer destination, Brightcove.com. Fans of hit CBS programs will be able to post comments and interact with other viewers, remix content through interactive editing tools, and share videos through personal channels on Brightcove.com. For long-form CBS content, Brightcove will also provide a full-screen theatre-mode viewing experience.
“The CBS commitment to open and broad distribution across the Web marks another major milestone in the evolution of Internet TV,” said Jeremy Allaire, chairman and chief executive officer, Brightcove. “We are thrilled CBS has chosen Brightcove.com to expand the distribution of award-winning news and entertainment programming. The partnership will bring our community exciting new opportunities to engage deeply with some of the most compelling shows on television today.”
· Netvibes - Four CBS Universes will debut on the new Netvibes Universe Network, leveraging the power of Netvibes to distribute and provide personalized content to users. All CBS content will also be published across the Netvibes Ecosystem, the web’s leading collection of user-generated feeds, modules, and personalized homepages. Starting Monday, CBS Universes will be available for: CBS News (http://www.netvibes.com/cbsnews), ShowBuzz (http://www.netvibes.com/showbuzz), CSTV (http://www.netvibes.com/cstv), and SportsLine (http://www.netvibes.com/sportsline).
“Netvibes Universe makes it easy for everyone to collect, customize and share rich media content online, throughout over 150 countries and 80 languages. Anyone who visits the new CBS Universes can instantly access their favorite CBS shows, sports, and news feeds, and personalize it exactly the way they want it,” said Netvibes Founder and CEO, Tariq Krim.
· Sling Media – Sling Media will distribute free, ad supported, full length as well as clip-based video content from CBS via Sling’s forthcoming video destination and its enhanced SlingPlayer software, which will be launched for both Slingbox and non-Slingbox customers this summer. In addition, Sling Media plans to integrate the same CBS content into additional platforms including its forthcoming SlingCatcher.
“We are excited to extend our business relationship with CBS by offering our current and future audiences access to great long form programming from CBS that covers the spectrum from drama and comedy to sports and news,” said Jason Hirschhorn, president of the Sling Media Entertainment Group. “CBS is proving they are a leader in the digital media space by embracing new platforms for content distribution. The announcement is an example of true ubiquity as evidenced by the cast of both new and established partners. We are proud to be working with them on this endeavor.”
· Veoh - CBS content will be made available to viewers on the Veoh Network through branded, customized channels on Veoh.com and the Veoh Player application. Utilizing Veoh’s state-of-the-art peer-to-peer technology, CBS fans will be able to watch their favorite shows in a full-screen, DVD-quality format for a truly unique viewing experience that makes Veoh a leader in Internet Television.
“We welcome CBS to our growing stable of media partners. CBS is one of the most respected entertainment brands in the business and we are excited to offer its vast and impressive catalog of high quality, entertaining and original programming to our viewers as part of the CBS Interactive Audience Network,” said Dmitry Shapiro, CEO of Veoh Networks. “Veoh’s large and growing audience and unique technology enable traditional media to expand their brands through increased audience distribution by enabling viewers to watch when and where they want.”
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