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Comcast Expands CBS Deal for VOD, Online Streaming Rights

Comcast reached a deal with CBS to offer subscribers more of the Eye’s shows on video-on-demand and they cut a separate pact to offer all past seasons of two shows through its multiscreen Streampix service — giving the cable giant a bit more ammunition to fight over-the-top services like Netflix.

Comcast, under an update to its previous VOD agreement with CBS, will offer more of the Eye’s current primetime TV shows for free through Xfinity On Demand and online at Xfinity.com. That includes an expanded selection of CBS’ returning shows such as “The Good Wife,” “2 Broke Girls,” “Person of Interest” and “The Mentalist,” plus new premiering series such as “The Crazy Ones” and “Mom.”

Under a separate pact, Comcast will offer the four previous seasons of CBS’ “The Good Wife” on its Xfinity Streampix subscription VOD service (while every episode of the current season will be available on the standard Xfinity On Demand service) as well as all eight seasons of The WB’s “Charmed.”

Terms of the deals were not disclosed. CBS agreed to provide additional VOD of current-season shows to Comcast because that viewing will now be counted toward Nielsen C3 ratings, according to a source familiar with the deal; in addition, fast-forward functions on CBS VOD content will now be disabled on Comcast. The deal for the full seasons of “The Good Wife” and “Charmed” for the Streampix SVOD service involved compensation to CBS, according to the source.

Scott Koondel, chief corporate content licensing officer for CBS, noted in a statement that the deal “provides CBS with yet another way to monetize our content.” Another benefit to CBS, according to Koondel: Adding Streampix as a subscription VOD partner “will enable more fans to catch up on past episodes and in turn support in-season viewership.”

CBS plans to make additional episodes of select series available throughout the season to let Comcast subscribers catch up.

Comcast’s Streampix, which provides several thousand TV shows and movies available across multiple devices, costs $4.99 per month extra beyond basic cable but the service is included for no additional charge with certain double- and triple-play bundles.

In the recent retransmission-consent negotiations between Time Warner Cable and CBS, Internet-streaming video rights became a point of contention. The cable operator wanted to get expanded online video content rights as part of paying a higher retrans fee, while CBS wanted to get paid separately for SVOD rights.

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