CBS Corp. on Tuesday said it plans to air prime time television programs, including its top-rated CSI series and "Survivor" show, on the Internet for free.
The shows will include "limited commercial interruption" and be made available on its high speed Internet channel innertube the morning after it airs on the CBS broadcast network, the company said.
The move comes as traditional media companies attempt to lure a younger audience spending more time consuming entertainment and news on alternative outlets, from personal computers to hand held devices.
Broadcasters have experimented with a host of new ways to deliver their most popular programs to audiences, from offering show downloads onto the popular iPod video and music player to selling on-demand versions of shows without commercials. Walt Disney Co.'s ABC network in May began streaming its top shows "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" on the Internet for free as part of a test.
CBS launched innertube in May to offer original programming as well as shows available on TV, supported by advertising.
Starting in September, viewers will be able to view the three CSI crime drama series for free for four weeks following its initial TV broadcast. Episodes of "Jericho" and "Survivor" will be available throughout the broadcast season.
"It further helps us extend the reach of the CBS brand, provides a new avenue for advertisers to engage with our programming, which in turn creates a new source of revenue for our company," Larry Kramer, president of CBS Digital Media, said.
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