CBS switches on new broadband channel

Online ad-based channel, called "Innertube," will include original programming and encores of prime-time CBS TV. Image: Innertube online

CBS Corp. has released a broadband channel that will feature original programming, supplements to popular shows, classics and encores of prime-time shows.

Initially, Innertube will feature original content. In the coming months, CBS television programs will be added. Advertising will be the channel's main source of revenue.

Innertube

"With this broadband channel, we've essentially bypassed cable and created a general entertainment outlet utilizing existing creative and content resources," Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corp., said in a statement.

The broadband channel will serve as a test ground for new types of shows.

"Creatively, we want this platform to be a content playground where new talent and ideas are discovered, and proven talent can bring their passion projects, whether complementary or different to what's on the Network," Nancy Tellem, president of CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group, said in a statement.

"It will also become an alternative programming option for series broadcast on the network that didn't reach a mass audience, but have a loyal, passionate following that lends itself to Internet appeal," according to CBS.

In other words, Innertube may also be the new place where shows go to die, instead of being canceled completely.

Innertube will also feature companion programs, supplemental shows that complement popular CBS television shows. For example, "Beyond Survivor" will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the reality adventure show "Survivor."

CBS already has an array of online content options.

CBS News.com offers a 24-hour digital news broadband network. CBS on Demand (CBSOD) allows fans of "Survivor" to rent viewable downloads for 99 cents per episode. CBS Netcasts are downloadable podcasts of select CBS content. And earlier this year, the March Madness" NCAA college basketball playoff games were available on CBS Sportsline.com.

According to CBS, the site served more than 14 million streams of live video and more than 4 millions visitors.

As broadband access becomes more prevalent among consumers, many content providers are seeking news ways to harness the medium.

In April, Fox announced a similar feature on its Web site. Reruns of select prime time Fox shows are available the morning after they air on broadcast television. The BBC recently announced a revamp of its online streaming content.

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