CBS Wants to Become a Streaming Juggernaut

-Launches Digital News Network

-Showtime a la Carte Coming in 2015

CBS is signaling loud and clear that it sees its future online. A few weeks after launching a subscription-based streaming video channel that competes with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, CBS has launched an online news network to compete with such pay TV news sources CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.

The network, called CBSN, is an ad-supported streaming service for its CBS News property. It’s available at via a browser on PCs, smartphones and tablets; it’s s also available on Rokus, Amazon Fire TVs and select smart TVs. Apps for mobile devices are slated to become available by year end.

“Our audience and other audiences besides are available in other places at other times,” said David Rhodes, president of CBS News. “The discussion we had is people are interested in our offering and are available on these platforms. We are going to meet them with a product, or someone else is.”

CBS head Les Moonves said the CBSN will “allow us to take all of the content we create across our news division and distribute it across the leading digital platforms without the costs associated with the cable news network,” speaking at the company’s recent quarterly earnings call.

With the tagline: “CBS News. Always On,” the online channel offers live streaming programming with two anchors, and selections of videos to watch on-demand. Advertising partners include Amazon and Microsoft at launch.

“This service will provide programming 24/7 to a whole new audience, and along with [CBS’s subscription OTT service] All Access, demonstrates the way we are following our viewers with CBS content wherever they are,” Moonves said.

Showtime OTT Service Is on the Horizon

Viewers will likely be able to stream Showtime, CBS’ premium pay TV channel, sometime next year, according to executives. “We see the same opportunity HBO does,” said Joseph Ianniello, chief operating officer at CBS, speaking during the quarterly earnings call. “To not make our programming available is certainly doing a disservice to those consumers,” Ianniello said, referring to …

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