Five to distribute shows on TV.com

Net to give CBS service 250 hours of content

U.K. terrestrial web Five will distribute its shows on CBS’s video-on-demand service, TV.com.

It is the first arrangement of its kind in Europe for TV.com, upstaging ABC, NBC and Fox’s VOD service Hulu, which is yet to bow in the U.K.

The move gives British auds access to shows via Five’s catch-up service, Demand Five, shortly after broadcast and to around 250 hours of the channel’s archive content for free.

In-video advertising will be sold by Five while display advertising is being handled by CBS Interactive.

Five has a close relationship with CBS due to its acquisition of the “CSI” franchise, which earlier this week gave the channel its highest audience of the year, achieving a 14% share.

Among Five’s shows available on TV.com are Australian soaps “Neighbours” and “Home and Away,” plus local hit “The Gadget Show.”

Five, owned by RTL Group, has seen its business hit hard by the advertising downturn and needs to make the most of what opportunities there are in the online space.

Jonathan Lewis, Five’s head of digital media, said, “Our partnership with TV.com is a further example of Five’s strategy to expand and grow the reach of its content beyond the smallscreen to premium secure digital platforms.”

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