American broadcast network CBS has announced it will offer programming via the Internet-based video service Joost when it officially launches—which ought to be this quarter. The announcement makes CBS the first broadcast network to sign on with Joost, although it’s not Joost’s first major partnership: the upstart Internet television service has already announced partnership with Jump TV and with CBS parent company Viacom.
“Joost combines best-in-class technology with superb video quality and a management team with a proven track record,” said Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, in a release. “Partnering with Joost for the CBS Interactive Audience Network showcases our content and community on a service that allows for unique advertising opportunities and a delivery framework that maximizes cost efficiency.”
Joost is currently in beta, and aims to combine broadcast-quality video service with Web 2.0 technologies and social networking elements, while offering content protection for copyright owners. Joost was founded by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, who also founded VoIP titan Skype.
Financial terms of the deal between Joost and CBS weren’t disclosed, but the deal will enable Joost viewers to tap into selected CBS programming within the United States, with selected clips and sports programming available to Joost users worldwide. CBS shows slated to be available via Joost include CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,CSI: Miami,CSI: NY,NCIS,Numb3rs,Survivor,Jericho,Fat Actress,Free for All,CBS Evening News with Katie Couric,CBS Sportsline,Showtime Original Movies, and Showtime Boxing.
“Being able to offer Joost viewers award-winning CBS content is extremely exciting for Joost both because it’s a testament to the value we offer our content partners and because it ensures that our viewers are going to have a trusted source to view their new favorites as well as classics,” said Janus Friis.
The partnership lends considerable credibility to Joost’s goal of offering a broadband, global television service. If Joost launched successfully, other broadcasters and video distributors in the U.S. and around the world will likely struggle to get their content onto Joost rather than be left out in the cold. It may also spell trouble for Google’s YouTube online video sharing site—which is currently facing a $1 billion copyright lawsuit from Joost’s parter, Viacom.
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