UPDATE: CBS, Survivor Won’t Vote Off Google Video

    February 1, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

New episodes of the reality show “Survivor” will be sold through the CBS.com website as well as Google Video and Comcast.

CBS has been selling episodes of shows like CSI and Survivor through Comcast On-Demand, and through the new Google Video service. Soon, CBS will add another outlet for video content: CBS.com.

Now, next-day episodes of Survivor, which starts a new season on Thursday, go on sale on the CBS website. CBS told Reuters the broadcast company will share revenues with affiliate stations; details of that sharing were not disclosed.

Considering the success NBC and ABC had seen by selling their hit shows through Apple’s iTunes store, CBS choosing Google Video over iTunes seemed odd. I suggested on January 20th this may indicate CBS would go it alone with online video sales instead.

However, that isn’t the case despite Reuters reporting to the contrary with this line: “Its latest plans now cuts out the distributor.” A CBS spokesperson advised me they are still working with Google Video and Comcast, and that includes the new episodes of Survivor.

That coincides with this statement from CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves: “It’s been our strategy to exploit content across as many platforms as possible,” as noted in a press release forwarded to me.

New episodes will be available shortly after midnight following the airing of new episodes on TV. Customers will be able to watch the episode for a 24-hour period after paying.

UPDATE! This article has been edited based on new information provided by CBS. The major point of contention was Reuters’ direct statement that CBS plans “now cuts out the distributor,” which CBS said is incorrect. Also, revenue will be shared with affiliates, not split; CBS thinks ‘split’ implies a specific 50/50 proposition and felt ‘share’ would be more accurate. Google also affirmed the agreement with CBS is still in place. Many thanks to both fine companies for providing their feedback and allowing the opportunity to publish this correction.

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