Yahoo! Streams CBS Sitcoms

by , Dec 28, 2005, 6:00 AM
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In another example of Internet companies distributing TV shows on the Web, Yahoo! this week started offering free--and ad-free--streams of two episodes of the CBS sitcoms "Two and a Half Men" and "How I Met Your Mother."

Until Monday, the shows will reside on Yahoo! TV, where the sitcoms join other video content, including a 10-minute preview of VH1's "Flavor of Love," and behind-the-scenes footage of the first season of ABC's "Lost"--which Yahoo! Media Group head Lloyd Braun had a hand in developing in his last job, as chairman of the ABC Entertainment Television Group.

Although the CBS sitcoms carry no ads, Yahoo!'s site contains links that direct visitors to the official CBS page for each show.

The sitcom streams are the latest in an accelerating series of partnerships between television networks and Web companies. For instance, in a move labeled an "experiment" by CBS Digital Media President Larry Kramer, Google earlier this year offered free streams of UPN's "Everybody Hates Chris." The Web version of that show, like the two comedies available on Yahoo! this week, carried no ads.

Yahoo! also streamed the debut of the WB series "Supernatural" earlier this year, as well as the premiere of Showtime's "Fat Actress." Also, in March, the social networking site MySpace.com--which has since been acquired by News Corp.--Webcast the complete premiere episode of NBC's comedy "The Office," more than a week ahead of its scheduled broadcast pilot. And last year, America Online streamed the first episode of the WB teen drama "Jack & Bobby" before it aired on TV.

In addition to partnering with Web companies, TV networks have been testing streams of shows on their own sites. Last month, CBS made three episodes of the prime-time sci-fi series "Theshold" available on CBS.com. MSNBC.com also recently started streaming NBC news shows, including "Meet the Press," and "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams."

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