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CBS Bows iPad, iPhone App for Episodic Streaming

14 Mar, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Network says similar ad-supported app for Android and Windows 8 forthcoming

CBS Corp. March 14 said it is launching a new app for the iPhone and iPad, enabling full-episode streaming of primetime, daytime and late-night programming 24 hours to eight days after initial broadcast.

The ad-supported app gives viewers additional viewing flexibility, including the opportunity for catch-up viewing, while giving CBS another monetization window for its content.

CEO Les Moonves told an investor group March 5 that 40% of CBS programming is watched delayed from either the DVR or an Internet-based service. The executive has been pushing Nielsen to expand its current TV ratings tracking from three (C3) to seven days (C7) after broadcast.

“Some of our hit programs literally are only watched 60% live,” Moonves said. “What happens now [is] if you watch in the first three days on the DVR we get paid in full. If it gets watched later than that, that doesn't happen.”

The CEO expects Nielsen to track TV viewership seven days after broadcast beginning in 2014. The app is designed to facilitate that viewer migration.

"By making our shows available on all the leading mobile devices out there, we are confident we wil bring a whole new set of viewers to CBS," Moonves said.

CBS shows available on the app include “NCIS,” “The Good Wife,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Young and the Restless” and “The Late Show with David Letterman,” among many others. Daytime and late-night programming will be available within 24 hours after initial airing.

An app for Android and Windows 8 devices is expected later this year.

CBS, which is aggressively courting alternative distribution channels after initial hesitation, this week signed SVOD deals with Amazon Prime Instant Video and Hulu Plus for catalog programming.

“We have been methodically and strategically finding new ways to satiate the appetite for our content on new platforms, while tapping into the tremendous revenue provided by doing so,” Moonves said in a statement. “Our announcement today achieves both of these objectives, while protecting our very healthy current ecosystem.


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