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CBS Jumps Into Broadband with Innertube

CBS has jumped headfirst into the broadband universe with innertube -- an ad-supported site filled with new and repurposed programming the network imagines will be a destination for video-hungry websurfers.

Gotta say, my first reaction is: not so impressed. Though the press release promises footage of Pearl Jam's recent webcast concert on Late Show With David Letterman, innertube's current offerings feature a lame-o makeover show for college kids called Geek to Chic and snippets from interviews with CBS stars likely featured on its promotional DVDs.

I know, the site started today. So criticism is way premature. CBS is promising original content such as an animated show based on stories celebs tell about their everyday lives a scripted sketch comedy show and behind the scenes stuff on Survivor.

They're skirting problems with affiliates by not presenting actual episodes. But with so much video available elsewhere on the Internet, I think CBS is going to have to come up with some hipper material to attract those addicted to sites such as YouTube and iFilm's ViralVideo.

More Innertube
A few more tidbits following CBS' 2 p.m. conference call:

Shows which have already been canceled, such as the comedy "Love Monkey" and the reality show "Fire Me...Please" will air there. But they haven't worked out details with the affiliates to air episodes of shows now on the schedule, such as CSI or Survivor.

The 5-million people who watched streaming broadcasts of their Final Four coverage online convinced CBS to push unveiling of innertube, which they had already been developing.

Funding is key. Most new stuff on innertube is low-cost reality programming with low production costs and no union hassles. Product placement is key, with sponsors Chili's and Dr. Pepper featured within the sample Greek to Chic episode now available.

After the network decides which pilots will end up on its fall schedule in a couple of weeks, CBS execs say many of the 24 pilots they developed this year could reach the public via innertube.

Oh, and the name wasn't inspired as a shout out to YouTube's immense audience of Web-savvy hipters. Riiight.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:36pm]


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