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@ CES: More On CBS Interactive Deals: Virtual Star Trek, Video Sharing — And Clipping

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CES: CBS Keynote: Second Life Star TrekWhile CBS CEO Leslie Moonves was sharing the CES stage with what he called in deadpan fashion “the Angelina Jolies and Brad Pitts of the interactive world,” the company announced a cluster of small deals with interesting overtones and intriguing potential. CBS wants to be seen as being open to innovation even when — or especially when — it skirts close to the edge but it isn’t buying in wholesale. Think of this for the most part as greenlighting some interesting scripts without committing to getting them on the schedule. A few details:
SL Star Trek: CBS is partnering with Electric Sheepo to build a virtual Star Trek SL world that, if it lives up to potential, could be nirvana for Trekkies. It’s only a tease for now, mind you, but it could very well include the ability to mashup up video from CBS-owned Star Trek. For the Star Trek-conversant among you, it made me think of a holodeck where SLers can become part of and creators of the action. Another tease: CBS could wind up airing some of the mash-up episodes.
Clip+Sling: Another disruptive idea from the fine folks who brought you the Slingbox. In the first deal for the new Sling Media Entertainment Group headed by Jason Hirschhorn, CBS has agreed to participate in a beta of new app Clip+Sling; sometime during the second quarter, Slingbox owners will be able to share short segments of a CBS show to be determined. Hirschhorn showed me a demo of Clip+Sling the other day and it could have powerful mojo. It literally will let Slingbox owners clip and share content directly from live or recorded TV in a matter of seconds. That alone could be disruptive but this includes another element: a portal to which the clips are uploaded and can be viewed not just by a friend who gets a link but by anyone. Of course, it also has powerful implications when it comes to intellectual property and the like; CBS will have to be very careful about the show it chooses as an experiment. It’s in private beta now but Sling is accepting apps for inclusion at wonderfully named http://www.lebowski37.com. Everyone is being pretty circumspect but I don’t expect the service to be limited to sanctioned shows. But Sling, like YouTube, is also looking at incentives for participation: the content owners would be able to sell advertising against their clips with Sling getting a revenue share and the right to sell leftover inventory. Release.
YouTube CBS is broadening its relationship with YouTube by using the site for a user-gen video contest. “15 Seconds” is described as a community campaign collecting inspirational videos from users. Five of the videos are being selected every week to be posted at CBS.com; a few will be shown on CBS throughout the season with the first airing during the Super Bowl pre-game coverage Feb. 4. Release.
Again, small steps but interesting.