CBS announced it is putting its TV shows on Facebook, MySpace, and Google’s personalised homepage, iGoogle, through apps developed by San Francisco startup, iWidgets. It’s a no-brainer, really: social networkers identify as fans of TV shows, and represent a built-in distribution mechanism and wide audience.
Not that there isn’t plenty of TV on social networking sites already: MySpace TV has Fox and NBC shows as a distributor of Hulu; Bebo has a deal with CBS; and ABC.com has a widget in Facebook. But they all require that you either leave the site or watch outside the social networking environment. The iWidgets deal will allow users to watch CBS shows within their own pages.
CBS is starting out with a few of their shows — CSI and each of its spinoffs, NCIS, The Amazing Race, The Young and The Restless, and Numb3rs — and will be adding more shows, such as Star Trek, in the coming months. Peter Yared, CEO of iWidgets, said the apps will have trivia and other features to help spur the distribution, and will tap groups that already exist around its more popular shows, like Star Trek and CSI.
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