TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: For 'CSI,' Press A1

For 'CSI,' Press A1

Monty Solomon (
Sun, 13 Nov 2005 11:53:15 -0500


Don't touch that dial. A video-on-demand venture that CBS announced
this week was just one part of an urgent plan by the nation's most
watched television network to prove to investors that a media company
built around broadcast television has legs in the digital world.

Most radically, Leslie Moonves, the chairman of CBS, is also pursuing
a strategy that is sure to stir up cable and satellite operators:
pushing to charge them for access to CBS, as they do for cable
networks like TBS and USA Networks. He is also creating spin-off
channels and expanding the network's presence on the Internet.

On Tuesday, CBS and the Comcast Corporation, the nation's largest
cable operator, unveiled a plan to sell reruns of four top CBS shows
-- including "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "Survivor" -- within
hours of their broadcast. The shows will cost 99 cents each, and will
be available in areas where CBS owns TV stations and Comcast provides
digital cable. The deal bears some similarity to recent agreements NBC
and ABC have struck with DirecTV and Apple Computer. All are meant to
adapt the business model of a broadcast television network to changing
technologies and viewer habits, and find additional ways to be paid,
beyond the advertising that has been broadcasting's sole source of

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