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Comcast, CBS shed fee-based VOD

Fri, 09/15/2006 - 7:18am
Jeff Baumgartner, CED

Just in time for Thursday night's premiere of Survivor: Cook Islands, CBS Corp. inked a deal to offer eight primetime series for free via Comcast Corp.'s video-on-demand (VOD) platform.

It marks an extended deal between the two companies. In January, Comcast sealed a deal to offer episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; NCIS; Survivor; and The Amazing Race via VOD for 99 cents each. Initially, Comcast only offered those programs on-demand in markets with CBS owned-and-operated stations. Presumably, that decision was made in order to mollify broadcast affiliates that had complained earlier about not getting a cut of revenue from new TV show download services from companies such as Apple.

This time around, all Comcast markets will be able to access CBS shows that are offered on-demand. In all, CBS and Comcast will offer eight in the new VOD offering: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; CSI: Miami; CSI: NY; Survivor; NCIS; Numb3rs; Jericho and Big Brother.

Additionally, those shows will be offered free with commercials. Episodes will be available via VOD the day after their debut on the linear network and will be archived for four weeks.

"Early results show that viewers are responding to programming being made available on emerging platforms for free, supported by advertising," said CBS President & CEO Leslie Moonves, in a statement.

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