CBS does deals with (almost) everyone


Cory at Lost Remote has some details about what some of the partners CBS signed the deal with (described below) plan to do with the content — with Brightcove’s the most interesting.

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Well, another TV network seems to have decided to jump headfirst into this whole Interweb thing: CBS, which is home to such shows as CSI, Survivor and The David Letterman Show, has announced that it will be working with just about every social network, portal and video-sharing site or service in the known universe — with a couple of notable exceptions, of course.

snipshot_d419u9bs1l0p.jpgThe press release mentions that the network’s partners include AOL, Microsoft, CNET Networks, Comcast, Joost, Bebo, Brightcove, Netvibes, Sling Media and Veoh. And that’s on top of existing deals with Yahoo, Amazon and Apple. You might notice a few names missing, such as — oh, say Google and YouTube. Or MySpace. It’s probably a coincidence that MySpace is busy developing its own video network, and that Google and YouTube are currently embroiled in a nasty legal dispute with certain networks over their content.

Of course, CBS already has an existing deal with YouTube that includes a “channel” with some of its content. So why didn’t it mention that in the press release? It mentioned existing deals with Yahoo and Apple. It seems that Joost is the new favourite — likely because it is much more like the broadcast model that network execs are familiar with. Viacom has already gotten cozy with Joost after dumping YouTube.

To be fair to CBS, this deal looks even broader than NBC’s much-hyped National Broadband Broadcasting Network or NBBC. Video will be distributed through all of the outlets mentioned above, all of it free and ad-supported (DRM wasn’t discussed), and none of the deals are exclusive. A shotgun approach, perhaps — but at least CBS is taking a shot at serving viewers in different ways, and it should get some credit for that.

PaidContent has some of the details (or rumours) about revenue sharing here, and it sounds like Canadians might actually get to watch some of the content, since CBS says in the release that “select clips and full-length sports programming” will be available worldwide.

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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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