CBS announced today that it will make episodes from the forthcoming season of its enduring Survivor reality show franchise available for sale via its own Web site for $1.99 apiece. The pricing matches the per-episode cost which seems to have been standardized by Apple’s iTunes television offerings, but the CBS move marks the first time a broadcast network will offer its own programming for purchase from its own Web site.
In January, CBS announced a deal with Google to sell past episodes of Survivor (as well as episodes from CBS shows like CSI and The Amazing Race) for sale via the new Google Video Store. The launch of the Google Video Store has been roundly criticized for failing to promote high-profile offerings, or even providing a simple way for visitors to find the shows they wanted.
Episodes of Survivor: Panama – Exile Island will be available at midnight following the episodes original broadcast on the CBS network. Unlike television episodes purchased from other online sources, the episodes will be viewable only for 24 hour after purchase. CBS says they plan to keep the episodes online through June, but have not released any details of the technology or system requirements the online episodes will use, but don’t be surprised if they don’t work on a video iPod.
Survivor: Panama – Exile Island premieres tonight, February 2, at 8 PM ET/PT.