Gossip Girl, March Madness, And CBS Confusion

    April 18, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

CBS fared better on an ad revenue per person basis for its NCAA basketball tournament delivery online than on TV. So why is Gossip Girl being dragged offline for viewing only on the CW Network, partly owned by CBS?

If we had to guess, and why not, we’re not real busy right now, we would twiddle a Poirot-style mustache in the direction of CBS’ other CW Network partner, Warner Bros. J’accusez, Barry Mayer and Alan Horn.

CW wants Gossip Girl, its trendy New York beautiful people-centric series, to air new episodes on TV, and only on TV. The LA Times said the return of new episodes on Monday will be the end of online video streaming of those shows.

By throttling online views, CW hopes to push up TV ratings, and thus the ad dollars Gossip Girl can command. The report said the show has been losing big in the ratings department.

Whatever Warner Bros may have gained from its partnership with CBS, monetizing online content isn’t it. The Washington Post said CBS made more money per person with the NCAA hoops tourney online than it did on TV: $4.83 per person against $4.12.

Gossip Girl’s demographic focus goes straight to the 18-34 audience, the only one that exists as far as the networks are concerned. It’s an online savvy audience as well. We wonder if CW has failed to make money with it online, or simply not made the enormous pots of money studio heads feel entitled to in their minds.