CBS Unveils Digital Moves: Streaming News Programs and Sony OTT Pact

CBS, best known for its linear TV broadcasts of top-rated programs like “2 Broke Girls” and “The Good Wife.” said it had taken two big steps to ensure its programming would be consumed by viewers adopting new habit thanks to new technology.

The company confirmed it would launch CBSN. a streaming-video news feed that could be seen by anyone with access to a broadband connection and also said it had entered a pact with Sony Corp. that would have CBS content  on the Japanese company’s proposed streaming-TV service. Viacom, CBS’ corporate sister, is already a member of the venture.

Services like Sony’s ““will help expand the universe of opportunities for companies like CBS that make the best programming,” said Leslie Moonves, the company’s CEO, during a conference call with investors. “More deals along these lines are coming soon,” he added.

The new news outlet has been in the germination phase for months. Moonves said the new CBSN would give CBS the ability to monetize its CBS News content without incurring  “the costs associated with a cable news network. This service will provide programming 24/7 to a whole new audience.” The new programming will be supported by advertising, Moonves said.

CBS unveils the new initiatives as media companies of all stripes come under pressure to demonstrate expertise in distributing their content to consumers who watch video in new ways – not all of them currently measured in a way that would bring the same kind of ad revenue as television.

“Our buzzwords are ‘broadband’ and ‘mobile,'” said Joseph Ianiello, the company’s chief operating officer. “Every day, we see more and more consumption in those two kinds of platforms.”

Moonves also suggested CBS would make some content from Showtime available via broadband distribution sometime in 2015, the target date that Time Warner-owned HBO has set to launch a broadband service.


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