Latest in Entertainment

Image credit:

CBS deal makes it easier to get local TV via streaming

Streaming access helps affiliates stop the cord-cutter bleeding.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
May 10, 2017
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Brett Carlsen via Getty Images

The rapid decline in cable subscribers is killing local TV stations that provide regional news and other programming to viewers in small markets. Now, CBS has struck a deal with its affiliate board that will get live streams from stations like WCBS-TV in New York on digital platforms like Hulu, YouTube TV and CBS All Access. That'll allow subscribers who want to do "skinny bundles" of select channels to see local programming on top of CBS shows like NCIS and 60 Minutes.

Rivals NBC and ABC have already struck similar deals, so most viewers can now get regional programming like local news and sports included in streaming bundles. Prior to that, content from the big four stations was often not available at all in many markets. CBS says the deal will yield "additional revenue possibilities for all," presumably via advertising or distribution deals.

CBS has an arrangement with Sony's PlayStation Vue, but it only applied to several affiliates that had signed on. The new deal applies to all affiliates, which can now stream programming on newish live TV platforms YouTube TV and Hulu. The deal also makes it possible for affiliates to stream on "future new entrant over-the-top platforms," though it didn't name any specifically.

Expanding distribution on these new platforms together with our affiliates has been a part of CBS' long-term digital strategy.

Digital platforms aren't a panacea for broadcasters like CBS, but things would be even worse without them. A recent analysis from Moffet-Nathanson revealed that pay TV subscriber growth declined by 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2017 with 762,000 fewer subscribers, but the drop was almost half (1.3 percent) if you include new Sling TV and DirecTV Now users.

CBS is the only major broadcaster with its own streaming platform, All Access, a $6 service with limited commercials or $10 ad-free. Affiliates will now get access to that platform, with CBS presumably sharing some of the user fees and ad revenue.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

You’ll need more than $299 to truly enjoy next-gen gaming

You’ll need more than $299 to truly enjoy next-gen gaming

View
Confused about which console to buy? Just wait.

Confused about which console to buy? Just wait.

View
Apple iPad (2020) hands-on: A better kind of basic

Apple iPad (2020) hands-on: A better kind of basic

View
Apple's latest iOS 14.2 beta adds a built-in control for Shazam

Apple's latest iOS 14.2 beta adds a built-in control for Shazam

View
MasterClass is offering college students a year of courses for $1

MasterClass is offering college students a year of courses for $1

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr