US television giant CBS is to begin streaming some of its most popular programmes over the web for free.
Starting in September, viewers will be able to watch prime-time shows on the broadcaster's ad-supported broadband channel Innertube, which launched earlier this year. And in the same month, CBS will begin simulcasting its evening news bulletin over the internet.
Episodes from series such as the CSI franchise, NCIS and Numb3rs will be posted a day after their initial network transmission, with what CBS promises will be "limited commercial interruption".
Many programmes will be available without charge for four weeks following their network debut. However, some—including episodes of Jericho and Survivor—will feature on Innertube throughout the entire autumn broadcasting season.
Innertube already offers entire episodes of CBS's prime-time series Big Brother: All-Stars, as well as a line-up of original series produced expressly for the internet and new shows that are companions to popular CBS brands.
From 5 September, CBS will attempt to attract more young viewers to its evening news slot by broadcasting it online at the same time as it is shown on television, in a first for US network TV. The launch date of the service coincides with the high-profile debut of presenter Katie Couric.
The president of CBS News and Sports, Sean McManus, said the move was "another giant step towards providing CBS News content to people wherever they are, [whether it be] in their homes, in their offices, in their cars, on their computers, or on their cell phones".
Lovelace Consulting | 18.08.2006