CBS widens online distribution

Dramatically widening it distribution outlets for programming, CBS announced last week the CBS Interactive Audience Network, an initiative designed to make the network’s shows viewable through an expanding range of Internet partners.

Select prime time shows, “Late Show with David Letterman” and the “CBS Evening News,” will be hosted by such Web sites as MSN, AOL, Joost, CNET (, Comcast ( and Fancast), Bebo, Brightcove, Sling Media, Veoh and Netvibes. The ad-supported content will be available at no charge to viewers.

Leslie Moonves, CBS president and CEO, said the move “marks an important step in our strategy to distribute content broadly across the online interactive landscape on an open, non-exclusive basis.”

The network said it will begin selling the CBS Interactive Audience Network in the coming weeks, including the upcoming Upfront marketplace. Advertising revenue will be shared between CBS and its partners. Though CBS did not reveal how revenue would be shared, the “Wall Street Journal” reported that distributors would take a 10 percent cut.

“CBS’ ability to partner with leading next-generation interactive platforms is the best way for CBS to evolve from a content company to an audience company,” said Quincy Smith, president, CBS Interactive. “It’s really all about the user and in building the CBS Interactive Audience Network, we are bringing our content to each unique platform of their choice.”

CBS also announced that Akamai Technologies would serve as the content delivery network for the enterprise.