Google to join forces with CBS

by Davis Freeberg

In an interview with Reuters out this morning, Chairman of CBS, Les Moonies announced that they are in talks with Google Video to provide digital copies of their hit shows like Survivor, CSI & my favorite new show of the season, Threshold.

In the interview he also said that CBS is working with DirectTV to provide VOD copies of their shows to their subscribers. Previously, CBS has announced plans on offering their shows for 99 cents a piece via Comcast and DirecTV. While I can applaud DirectTV for trying to come up with a strategy to compete with Comcast’s VOD programming, It’s still not enough to ever make me a customer. DirectTV has consistently restricted their users from enjoying the true television experience. Whether it was getting rid of the home media support for the TiVo boxes or their decision to turn off Tom’s East coast feed, they’ve consistently restricted the abilities for consumers to enrich their television experience. My advice for Les Moonies is to make sure you watch your back.

In a seperate announcement, they have also teamed up with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to provide hours of interviews to web surfers. While they intend to keep the programming advertising free for the time being, they are clearly keeping their options open.

“Google Video in its current form does not position advertising along with content, and while the new version will at first remain ad-free, Feikin said Google will consider advertising at some point. “We’re looking at all the ways that it might be appropriate to add advertising,” she explained.

At the moment, publishers are permitted to include advertising in any form with the video they upload to Google Video. Feikin would not say whether or not publishers will always have that luxury. “Right now,” she said, “publishers can show whatever they want, including advertising.”