TV.com was part of the acquisition of CNet for $1.8 billion by CBS last year. The site with the valuable domain name is now in the process of being turned into what the TV network hopes will become the ultimate Web video destination.
An Evolving TV.com
I know TV.com as an information and community resource all about television. If there was a new series that I needed to find out about, or a need to check the episode guide for Lost or Heroes, TV.com would be my first port of call.
While those factors remain, with new added social networking features, the site is now being rapidly turned into a comprehensive database of online video. If there’s content to be had, CBS wants it on TV.com.
First Hulu, Now More
TV.com has been syndicating content from Hulu for the last six months, but CBS has now also tied up deals to offer video content from MGM, Sony, PBS, Endemol USA, and Showtime. As well as starting to offer its own content at last.
The new content has coincided with a redesign of the site which has improved the old, clunky, and disorganized layout into one much easier to navigate. The forums and ways to interact with fellow fans of individual shows have remained.
Fighting The Competition
With these new efforts to reorganize the site, CBS is trying to become a one-stop shop with elements of Hulu, Joost, and Fancast. The much sought-after domain name and already impressive traffic numbers (up to 16 million monthly unique visitors) will surely help CBS in this aim.
None of the deals announced are exclusive, with all content being available on at least one other Web site. However, while CBS.com already has CBS shows Hulu does not, meaning it’s already got an advantage over its nearest rival.
Hulu Vs TV.com
Hulu is of course the master at building a comprehensive portal for long-form Web video, but that’s really only because the joint venture between NBC and News Corps was to first to seriously attempt such a thing.
CBS has now made TV.com a serious competitor in this field. And with the traffic already there, and the social elements drawing people in, I wouldn’t bet against the venture succeeding.
[Via The New York Times]
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