CBS in Web distribution deals for its TV shows

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NEW YORK -- CBS Corp. said Thursday it has created a broad Internet distribution channel for its popular television programs through deals with 10 partners, including Time Warner Inc.'s AOL, Microsoft Corp.'s MSN and Comcast Corp.

With the deals, CBS will be able to will deliver such shows as crime drama "CSI," "Late Show with David Letterman," "Survivor" and "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric" to a broader Web audience.

The CBS Interactive Audience Network is the latest effort by a leading media company to add Internet audiences for their programs and sell advertising for the shows online.

Viewers can watch the programs for free, with advertising revenue split between CBS and its partners. Details of the split were not immediately known.

Last month, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and NBC Universal said they would team up on a new online video venture to challenge the popularity of Google Inc.'s video sharing site YouTube.

CBS partners also include other Internet video services CNET Networks Inc., Joost, Sling Media, Veoh and Brightcove as well as social network Bebo and personal Web portal Netvibes.

CBS had wanted to keep 90% of the ad revenues generated by its shows, while the rest would go to its distribution partners, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

The company is also in talks to have the new NBC Universal-News Corp. venture distribute its shows on a nonexclusive basis, the Journal reported.

CBS Class B shares rose 23 cents to $31.22 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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