Boxee is announcing a deal with CBS (NYSE: CBS) that will allow it to stream full episodes through its over-the-top player as part of its appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Leaving aside the debate of whether cord-cutting is a genuine phenomenon or not, these are the kinds of deals that do show the over-the-top services are being taken more seriously by the broadcast networks. Separately from the CBS agreement, Boxee is showing off its forthcoming iPad app at CES, and is promoting its partnership with Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) online streaming service Vudu to run 3D videos as well.
The deal with CBS is a particularly important step for Boxee. However, the agreement will not allow Boxee users to stream all CBS shows automatically — they will only be able to buy individual programs directly and then view the stream.
Although it’s been in the over-the-top space long before Google (NSDQ: GOOG) TV and Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) TV started drawing more attention to the area last year, Boxee could actually see some benefits from the added competition at this point in its life. For one thing, CBS and the other big broadcast networks, have been resistant to Google TV, as the majors have felt that the search giant’s deal offering would not compensate them enough for access to their programming.
However, a Boxee rep told paidContent that there are no other deals with broadcasters to announce imminently, though he of course added, “We are in talks with everyone.” Much of the other content will come once Boxee completes deal talks with Hulu, which could come soon. Lastly, Boxee also has relations with each of the studios on an individual basis as well. Release