CBS will stream ad-supported episodes of its new and returning prime time shows for free on its Innertube broadband channel beginning in September.Episodes of CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, Jericho, Numb3rs and Survivor – all owned or co-owned by CBS- will post the day after they air on TV. The three CSI series, NCIS and Numb3rs will be available for four weeks after they air on TV, while Survivor and Jericho will be available for the entire season.
CBS’ deal resembles the streaming “experiment” ABC conducted with several of its own series last year and says it will continue with more shows this fall. While CBS, ABC and several other broadcast and cable networks offer pay-to-download episodes of their series on iTunes, the free, ad-supported streaming model represents another avenue to capitalize on digitally distributing their content.
CBS will experiment with tests of various forms of advertising with the programs on innertube. Interactive or targeted ads are two possibilities, says CBS Digital Media President Larry Kramer.
Innertube, launched in May, has so far offered original content, both spin-offs of its series and programs original to the web.