CBS Expands Streaming Business With ET Live Launch
The free, 24/7 streaming network will be devoted to all things entertainment.
Entertainment Tonight is becoming entertainment all day.
CBS is launching a 24/7 streaming network on the back of the well-known entertainment newsmagazine brand. Dubbed ET Live, the free streaming network will offer round-the-clock coverage of entertainment stories that span breaking news, celebrity interviews, behind-the-scenes and red-carpet coverage.
ET Live is the third such service from CBS, which four years ago launched CBSN as a live-streaming news channel and, then, in February introduced Sports HQ for news, highlights and analysis. All of these services are also part of CBS All Access, the broadcaster's subscription video offering.
"We totally expect there to be a rabid superfan base for the celebrity content that ET Live is going to have and it is going to fill this niche that isn't really filled in the market today," says Rob Gelick, executive vp and general manager of CBS Entertainment Digital. He adds that the service also will have a built-in audience of millions of viewers through All Access. (The streaming service and sister offering Showtime are on track to reach 8 million subscribers by 2019.)
ET Live will expand on the coverage that Entertainment Tonight already provides on its weekday and weeknight editions. Hosts who have been tapped for the live coverage include Lauren Zima, Denny Directo, Cassie DiLaura, Tanner Thomason, Jason Carter and Melicia Johnson. ET's Nancy O'Dell, Kevin Frazier, Nischelle Turner and Keltie Knight are also expected to regularly appear in segments promoting their broadcasts.
"There's so much happening in the world of entertainment," notes Gelick.
CBS is expanding its niche over-the-top offerings at a time when several other genre specific products, including WarnerMedia's subscription offerings Film Struck and DramaFever, were recently shut down. But Gelick notes that the individual channels work for CBS because of its ability to package them together for viewers. "That was always a big differentiator for us, an SVOD service that wasn't just about binge-watching episodes but also the balance of live and an amazing catalog of content," he says.
At launch, ET Live is available online, via Android and iOS devices and through Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV apps.
Entertainment Tonight is regularly the top-rated entertainment newsmagazine, beating out other syndicated shows like Inside Edition and Access Hollywood.