CBS is expected to announce a significant partnership with Yahoo that may include adding the portal to its video distribution network, Techcrunch reports. Update: It’s official. Yahoo is already a major partner for CBS News: a dedicated “60 Minutes” site on Yahoo News serves 15 million video streams a month, according to the show’s exec producer, Jeff Fager.
But a broader deal could mean CBS primetime TV content like “CSI” and “Cold Case” distributed through Yahoo. CBS distributes video across the Web through what it calls its “audience network,” which includes more than 300 sites both large and relatively small, including AOL, MSN, Joost, Bebo, Veoh and Comcast’s Fancast.
The ad splits vary from site to site. In the Bebo deal, for example, CBS sells all the ads and keeps all revenue. In other deals the host site gets a small percentage based on the traffic they deliver. CBS has thusfar opted not to distribute through the News Corp.- NBC U joint venture Hulu because the ad split, in which Hulu retains 30% of the ad revenue, is unfavorable compare to other distribution deals.
Techcrunch says the addition of Yahoo gives CBS’s network 92% reach on the Web, and that CBS will become the largest single source of programming on Yahoo TV. CBS announced a new video player earlier this week that includes high-def capability, social functions like chat and video recommendations, as well as the ability to post or embed video on other Web sites or blogs.
The question here is whether the economics of the deal are significantly different from other CBS deals. Also unclear if there’s a wider online ad sales partnership included as well. CNET entered into its own online ad sales partnership with Yahoo while it was in talks to be acquired by CBS. We’ll update when we find out more.
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