CBS has been something of a leader in embracing new distribution models for content, turning to embrace webcasting back when few major players were interested. Now CBS is at it again, this time hooking up with Joost, the P2P "Internet TV" platform spearheaded by the Skype guys.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, CBS is the first national broadcaster to ink a deal with Joost, but it isn't an exclusive deal. CBS will be distributing content on a number of web portals as well, including AOL and MSN. As you would expect, CBS will be licensing shows that have already aired on television. Early titles will include the original CSI, NCIS, and the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.
Rather than try to control each distribution point, CBS is willing to license its content to "secure" partners like Joost in exchange for a favorable cut of the ad revenue. While details of the deal are not yet public as it is yet to be officially announced, the WSJ cites "people familiar with the matter" who put CBS' asking price at about 90 percent of ad revenues. This is the general lay of the land for these deals, and it's quite aggressive.
In fact, CBS and others must expect significant revenues from this approach to distribution, because 10 percent doesn't leave much for its partners unless they're splitting a really big pie. Of course, these broadcasters wouldn't be running to the web were they not chasing the advertising revenues that area already headed in that direction.
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