CNET Taps Cox, TiVo To Reach Couch Potatoes
The new CNET TV also exists as a standalone Web site, where consumers can draw from various topic channels to program their viewing experiences. Interactive tools let users engage with the site's editorial staff, and share their customized play lists with friends. Best Buy's Geek Squad brand has signed on as a CNET TV charter sponsor, its ads appearing both online and on TV. CNET is controlling ad sales on- and off-line. Cox, TiVo, and TVN--which provides roughly 2500 hours of VOD programming to "multiple service operators" and telecoms--will package CNET TV to fit their own platforms.
A growing number of Web publishers are experimenting with VOD in an effort to extend their presence to those consumers inclined to consume content from their couches.
"As fast as broadband video is growing, the TV experience will remain a huge part of people's lives," said Joe Gillepsie, executive vice president of CNET.
Earlier this month, The New York Times Company's About.com signed a deal to distribute much of its content over VOD networks. And last month, BusinessWeek Online signed a deal with the online video sales network Broadband Enterprises to syndicate its originally produced news programming, including BusinessWeek Television. As part of the new deal with BusinessWeek, the site's content is being packaged with ads from several brands to be distributed across specific television and newspaper Web sites within Broadband Enterprise's network of affiliates.
Jupiter Research analyst Todd Chanko said he sees VOD as a logical next step for Web publishers. "There are 90 million paid television households today," said Chanko. "If CNET can create value for consumers, I think they and the carriers can profit."
Traditional media companies are also getting in the on the VOD act. Cox rival Comcast, for example, has already signed deals with CBS Corporation and NBC Universal to distribute their programming to subscribers. Popular shows like CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Survivor, and NBC's "Law & Order" can be viewed for .99 a piece.
CNET Networks' gaming news property GameSpot recently announced plans to produce two original series for Gameplay HD, the new gaming channel from VOOM HD Networks. The programming includes GameSpotting, a half-hour series of news, reviews and previews, and CinemAddicts, an hourly series featuring video games in a cohesive cinematic story.