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Comcast VOD service signs first major broadcast partner

After signing Time Warner and Starz, cable operator pens deal with CBS for the On Demand Online service.

Comcast continues to sign up media partners to a trial program of the cable operator's On Demand Online service.

The service, which will make TV shows available for users to watch online, has signed 17 cable stations and has its first major broadcast network: CBS, parent company of CNET News, the cable operator said Tuesday. Comcast had previously signed Time Warner and Liberty Media's Starz.

Peter Kafka over at All Things Digital first reported last month that Comcast was wooing CBS.

Comcast's service comes at a time when mainstream consumers are catching on to the amount of material available online and as more cable customers drop their subscriptions.

This from Kafka: "The idea is to protect cable subscription revenues by giving pay TV customers--but only pay TV customers--Web access to all the shows they get on TV, and hoping this keeps them from canceling their subscriptions."

Not only is Comcast fighting back against the likes of Hulu and YouTube, which also offers a smattering of full-length TV shows and films, but Netflix is also offered a popular way to watch films and TV shows online with its streaming service.

CBS is the first broadcast network to sign on to the On Demand trial.