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CBS Applauds TV Everywhere, OnDemand Online

CBS may take part in the trials being conducted by Comcast and Time Warner for "OnDemand Online" and "TV Everywhere," PaidContent.org's Staci Kramer reports. In an interview with Kramer, Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, fell short of confirming that CBS will engage in the trials being conducted by the cable providers, though he did express serious interest: "I think you can make an assumption that to the extent that authentication represents an additional way for CBS as a broadcaster to get paid, I think that's very interesting."

As Kramer points out, with the exception of Showtime, CBS doesn't own any cable networks, which makes it "the poster child for retransmission fees", in which cable operators pay to distribute its free signal via cable, satellite and other means. CBS has also experimented with putting its sports content online for free, making every game of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament available live and on demand for free. So what would happen to such offerings if CBS opted to be part of the authentication process that's part of TV Everywhere and OnDemand Online? Smith basically sidesteps the question: "March Madness is a good example of authentication. It's the same number of ads but just different ads. It is the broadcast television model brought on line..."I don't see any negative to it. No matter what, it represents new opportunities to get paid. It depends on how fast they get there. And there's about 70 billion reasons of motivation to make this work.

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