CBS tech-teams with Sling Media

Among partnerships unveiled in Moonves CES keynote

CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves unveiled a partnership with technology company Sling Media during his Consumer Electronics Show keynote address Tuesday that allows users to share their favorite entertainment content in an instant.

Called Clip+Sling, the application gives Slingbox customers the power to grab short segments of programming and share them with their "digital community" directly from live or recorded television.

Sling Media was one of several new-media upstarts Moonves unveiled as partners with CBS, including another project with YouTube.

"We're doing just about everything to see what's going to work, and for us that means teaming up with everyone that makes it possible to evolve from a one-way distribution company into an audience company," Moonves said in his address at the Venetian's Palazzo Ballroom.

Clip+Sling will be built into the desktop and mobile versions of the SlingPlayer software and will begin sometime in the second quarter.

It is the first such deal for the new Sling Media Entertainment Group, which was established to create digital entertainment experiences for and beyond the Slingbox community by making it more interactive across all platforms and creating opportunities with content creators and distributors to develop services (HR 11/30).

"The collaboration is proof that a big technology doesn't have to fear new technologies," said Blake Krikorian, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Sling Media, who demonstrated the service during the keynote.

The partnership with Sling Media was just one of several highlighted during Moonves' presentation that stressed how far CBS had come in terms of embracing digital media in the past year.

Also unveiled was a new feature on YouTube dubbed 15 Seconds where users are encouraged to submit a 15-second clip reciting their message to the world. The winning message to be broadcast before the Super Bowl on CBS.

"This is a great example of CBS and YouTube working together," said YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley, who also joined Moonves onstage.

CBS and YouTube already are months into a content-and-advertising partnership that quickly made the company's programming available everywhere on the site.

"YouTube has enabled us to be the most widely distributed professional content on the Web," Moonves said.

Joining Moonves during the keynote was Anthony Zuiker, executive producer/creator of CBS' "CSI" franchise, who emphasized the community engagement built around the shows, noting in particular the mobile game "CSI:Q."

"Community in terms of the 'CSI' franchise has literally expanded," Zuiker said. "It's content on the go on all platforms, and it all adds up to one giant worldwide 'CSI' community."

Also on hand were Ilene Chaiken, creator of Showtime's "The L Word," along with the show's star Jennifer Beals to showcase, a site geared toward lesbian viewers of the show. In addition, Brian Bedol, president and CEO of CBS asset College Sports Television, showed the audience the Fans Only platform on the CSTV site.

Phillip Rosedale, founder of virtual-community Second Life, also gave a presentation complete with an amusing demonstration on how CBS property "Star Trek" would translate to virtual worlds. Moonves indicated that Electric Sheep, a company collaborating with Second Life, is developing such a project for the company.

"There's no such thing anymore as old or new media — there's just media," Moonves said. "Those who don't get in front of the parade will end up marching behind it. The place is right up front ripping, burning and mashing to the new beat we're marching to."