Almost by definition, TV syndication in the modern era leads us to wonder just where and when we'll get to see a show online. For CBS' The Good Wife, streaming on third-party services will be a cornerstone of an uncommon, multi-step syndication strategy that puts the internet first. The drama will be available for Amazon Prime Instant Video subscribers starting March 14th, expanding beyond its existing availability for purchase. Hulu Plus members, meanwhile, will get their own turn at streaming in September. Traditional TV will still be around, but it's notably pushed to the back of the queue -- Hallmark won't have airing rights until January 2014, and most other broadcasters will be denied until a year after Hulu. The new approach another sign that CBS' one-time cold shoulder to some forms of digital distribution is growing warmer and warmer.
CBS CORPORATION ANNOUNCES MULTI-PLATFORM SYNDICATION ROLLOUT FOR "THE GOOD WIFE"
Amazon Prime Instant Video Will Lead the Off-Network Launch With Previous-Season Episodes Available for Streaming March 14
Hulu Plus to Roll Out Previous Seasons of "The Good Wife" in September 2013
Hallmark Channel to Launch the Award-Winning Series on Cable Beginning in January 2014
Weekend Syndication Run Sold to Stations Representing 85% of the Country for September 2014
STUDIO CITY, CALIF. (March 13, 2013) – CBS Corporation announced today a unique multi-platform syndication model for its award-winning drama THE GOOD WIFE, windowing the off-network rights for the series with distribution partners across subscription-video-on-demand services, a basic cable network and broadcast television stations.
"This is an off-network model for a unique serialized show in today's television ecosystem," said Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corporation. "It uses creative windowing to serve the content needs of best-in-class partners while realizing the full syndication value for a high-quality series. In addition, the potential for catch-up viewing across multiple platforms can provide incremental value to future broadcasts on the CBS Television Network."
As part of an agreement with Amazon.com, the first three seasons of THE GOOD WIFE will be available on Amazon Prime Instant Video beginning March 14, with season four coming to Prime Instant Video later this year. All Prime Instant Videos are commercial-free and can be viewed at no additional cost by Prime members on Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Roku, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii and Wii U, among other devices.
"THE GOOD WIFE has consistently been one of the strongest sellers on Amazon Instant Video, so we know our customers love the show. We are excited to be the first to offer seasons one through three of this great CBS series to Prime members and then later this year, Prime members can enjoy season four," said Brad Beale, Director of Digital Video Content Acquisition for Amazon.
As part of an expanded agreement with Hulu, previous seasons of THE GOOD WIFE will be available to Hulu Plus subscribers in September 2013. This builds on previously announced licensing agreements between CBS and Hulu for library content and for CBS- produced programming that airs on The CW. Hulu Plus is available to TV fans on more than 320 million connected tablets, phones, and living room devices for $7.99 per month.
"THE GOOD WIFE is one of the best dramas on network TV and we are thrilled to bring this show – as well as thousands of episodes from 20 other shows in the CBS library – to our Hulu Plus subscribers," said Andy Forssell, Senior Vice President of Content for Hulu. "CBS has been an important partner to us, and we are proud that our agreement continues to create accretive revenue streams for their premium programming."
The Hallmark Channel, a brand long recognized for high-quality entertainment, has acquired the off-network rights to present THE GOOD WIFE, the most decorated broadcast television drama, on basic cable. Since its premiere in 2009, the unique drama, which combines a sophisticated legal franchise with family drama, has earned numerous awards including the AFI Award (2012) and the Peabody Award (2011), as well as Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Awards for lead actress Julianna Margulies. The series has also received numerous WGA nominations for its writing. The Hallmark Channel will begin running THE GOOD WIFE on weekdays beginning January 2014.
"With 80 Emmy Awards and dozens of Golden Globes, Hallmark's contributions to television are unparalleled," said Bill Abbott, President and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel. "Hallmark Channel's audience is very reflective of CBS's, and as our network enters the arena of creating original, primetime scripted fare, we look to TV programs like THE GOOD WIFE as the type of award-winning, quality series we value and want to emulate," Abbott concluded.
In addition, THE GOOD WIFE will be available to local television stations for a weekend broadcast syndication window beginning in September 2014. CBS Television Distribution has sold these rights to the CBS Television Stations as the flagship broadcast group and to stations of all affiliations, currently covering 85% of the country.
"This is a syndication rollout that's a great match of program with partners," said Scott Koondel, Chief Content Licensing Officer, CBS Corporation. "THE GOOD WIFE episodes have been popular on Amazon's electronic-sell-through (EST) service, and addictive serialized dramas like this perform very well on Hulu Plus. Meanwhile, the Hallmark brand has always been associated with quality and prestige, and THE GOOD WIFE is one of the most honored, critically acclaimed and talked-about shows on television – and, of course, it's a series that has always performed well on the CBS-owned stations."
THE GOOD WIFE, currently in its fourth season, is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Scott Free Productions. Executive producers are Ridley Scott, Robert King, Michelle King, David Zucker, Brooke Kennedy, Ted Humphrey, Keith Eisner and Leonard Dick. Robert King and Michelle King are the creators.