CBS has launched its third free, ad-supported streaming video service, ET Live.
Based on the broadcast network’s long-running “Entertainment Tonight” TV program, ET Live will be a 24/7 OTT streaming service dedicated to entertainment news and programming.
ET Live joins a stable of direct-to-consumer streaming offerings from CBS, including the 24-hour streaming news service CBSN and the sports news and highlights service CBS Sports HQ.
CBS also operates a premium subscription service, CBS All Access, and a streaming version of its Showtime pay-TV channel.
ET Live will live on a stand-alone website, ETLive.com, as well as through new apps available for iOS, Android, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. It will also be incorporated as a live feed into CBS All Access, and into CBSN.
“Entertainment Tonight” co-hosts-contributors Nancy O’Dell, Kevin Frazier, Nischelle Turner and Keltie Knight will regularly preview upcoming shows and stories, though the service will have a dedicated anchor team. Hosts will include Lauren Zima, Denny Directo, Cassie DiLaura, Tanner Thomason, Jason Carter, and Melicia Johnson, per CBS.
ET Live marks the biggest bet yet in the streaming entertainment news space. It also gives CBS a head start over its biggest competition in the streaming space, PeopleTV. Meredith Corp. says in early 2019 its PeopleTV OTT brand will expand to four hours per day of live content.
CBS uses its free streaming video services to help drive subscriptions to its All Access product, while also giving it greater scale to sell advertising against.
As extensions of the company’s core brands, they also allow for expanded coverage.
For example, CBSN will cover breaking news even when the broadcast network is on regular programming, while CBS Sports HQ can host pregame shows ahead of the TV broadcasts. Similarly, ET Live can cover red carpets, award shows or other entertainment fare when the how is not on-air.