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CBS Doesn’t Need YouTube or NewCo

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CBS is announcing today its own “Interactive Audience Network” to distribute free television shows such as CSI, Late Show with David Letterman, and Survivor through all sorts of online platforms. The network has made arrangements with AOL, Microsoft, CNET Networks, Comcast, Joost, Bebo, Brightcove, Netvibes, Sling Media, and Veoh to showcase its content, and Akamai to deliver it.

CBS appears to have gotten with the Viacom anti-YouTube program, and there’s no mention of the site or its parent Google, not even in a shout-out to existing partners: “CBS has previously entered into existing and ongoing content distribution arrangements with Yahoo!, Apple iTunes, Microsoft’s Xbox, Amazon UnBox and many others.” (Guess YouTube qualifies as one of the “many others.”) The network also notes mobile deals with AT&T/Cingular, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and Qualcomm MediaFLO.

The distribution deals are similar (but include more smaller partners) to those set up by NBC and News Corps’ unnamed NewCo, a project that includes equity and exclusivity arrangements for the two media giants that CBS ultimately did not join. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, CBS is still in talks to have NewCo sign on to be another distributor of its content.

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