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Moonves: Digital Media Helps Primetime

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Despite the contention that more Internet usage equals less time in front of the television, CBS has found more online connectivity equals more engagement with lucrative primetime broadcasts.

CBS president Leslie MoonvesCBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves will be a keynote speaker at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next Tuesday. Some research conducted at CBS may provide a brighter paragraph or two for the executive who has been pushing the venerable network onto the cutting edge of digital media.

He’s already scheduled to talk about how media companies like CBS will work with all this new technology and interactivity people have embraced. Being talked at was the modus operandi of the 20th Century. This is 2007, and the people talk back.

But even now, actions speak louder than words, and what people have said with their actions is they want more digital media so they can have greater engagement with the shows they see on TV.

David Poltrack, chief research officer for CBS, said people complement viewership with participation, and that extends beyond the web browser:

“This data clearly show a correlation between connectivity and primetime television viewing,” said Poltrack. “Consumers who embrace the new media are the heaviest viewers of the top network primetime programs, and this sector of the audience is growing. By offering them new ways to connect to their favorite shows — whether it’s websites, podcasts, ringtones or other mobile features — we’ve been able to deepen the bond these fully connected viewers have with our programming.

“The research also illustrates that as viewers learn about the 2009 deadline for digital transmissions their attitudes towards investing in technology, like advanced home entertainment centers, to watch their favorite shows, changes radically. These findings really demonstrate the potential the broadcast networks have to further engage the public with our content as new technology expands our distribution options.”


This has been driven by several factors. Greater adoption of faster Internet connections by people enabled CBS and other content providers to push the limits of their offerings. As more of this audience becomes aware it can enjoy a streamed video option, the more likely people will give them a try.

From there, it’s a short step to the television to watch the program (and its ads) at its regularly scheduled time.


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

Moonves: Digital Media Helps Primetime
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