CBS Launches Broadband Channel

CBS has launched "innertube," a new broadband ad-supported channel offering a variety of free entertainment programming for Internet viewers.

"This online channel presents exciting creative possibilities and great business opportunities for CBS," said Nancy Tellem, president of the CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group. "Creatively, we want this platform to be a content playground where new talent and ideas are discovered, and proven talent can bring their passion projects--whether complementary or different to what's on the Network."

Advertisers will have several options on innertube. They'll be able to sponsor original Internet content individually or arrange package deals that allow them to buy into the broadcast programming and online companion programming that enhances current CBS primetime shows. CBS execs emphasize that affiliates will also be part of the innertube community.

"We are still talking to our affiliates and we're confident we'll reach a mutually beneficial arrangement on streaming episodes," said Tellem.

The launch represents "the third leg of a year-long plan to substantially upgrade the CBS Internet assets in news, sports and entertainment and to bring our content to users in every medium they're using," said Larry Kramer, president of CBS Digital.

The service premiered on May 4 with a line-up of original series specially produced for Internet viewing, along with additional new shows that are companions to popular CBS fare. In the months ahead, "innertube" will also be a distribution outlet for encore episodes from the CBS line-up of primetime shows and for CBS library content, which encompasses some 2,600 titles and 100,000 hours of programming.

"Our company possesses some of the world's finest entertainment programming assets and brands and we will continue on a strategic course to find as many distribution channels and new revenue streams for them as possible," said CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves.

The new service can be accessed from Initial plans are to stream three shows daily, with one new program being posted each day, Monday through Friday. Programming is archived and can be accessed with the "innertube" browse function.