CBS Follows ABC, NBC, WB, & UPN Online

    November 4, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Only Fox hasn’t made a full-length episode of a broadcast TV show available in some manner online, now that CBS has plans to do so with ‘Threshold’.

Three episodes of the CBS sci-fi series Threshold will join news and sports from the network in making appearances on the Internet, MediaPost reported. Each episode will be online for three days, and while they won’t have ads in the broadcast, the page containing the media viewer will display them.

Of the broadcast networks, CBS has been the most aggressive in moving content online. Viacom-owned CBS started an initiative over the summer to shift the primary focal point for its news division to a broadband-first operation.

CBS president Larry Kramer noted the difficulties in putting an entertainment show online in the article:

“News was easy because we make and own all of that content, and sports is more complicated because we have to deal with leagues and franchises,” said Kramer, adding: “But, with entertainment the business model is far more experimental, because there are many parties who expect compensation.”

Those expectations of compensation were highlighted when five unions representing Hollywood actors, writers, and directors issued a statement after Apple released the video iPod.

Referring to plans by ABC to place day-after-broadcast episodes of ‘Lost’ and ‘Desperate Housewives’ online, the unions expressed their hope that studios wouldn’t forget about them in the rush to make content available online.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.