Three of the four major networks, FOX (owned by News Corp), NBC, and ABC (owned by Disney), are joint partners in one of the fastest rising online video services around: Hulu. The odd man out of this partnership is CBS.
Yet while it’s been excluded from Hulu, CBS isn’t ceding any ground to its rivals in the online video realm. The network is expanding its approach to premium online content by moving into live video streaming through a partnership with Ustream, announced today.
The CBS-Ustream partnership takes a wide range of CBS’s content and brings it onto Ustream through channels like CBS News. The collaboration is multifaceted and covers a range of content, with the initial focus seemingly on CBS News. For example, whenever there is a major world event, Ustream will carry the live CBS News feed.
The partnership also encompasses presidential press conferences, keynotes, State of the Union addresses, Congressional hearings, and other news and political content. Ustream will also gain exclusive web-based content from The Early Show, CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, and others. On top of that, there will be full on-air programs streamed through the live video service.
While the details are still foggy, the deal is a clear indication that CBS is not stepping aside in the war for the web. While it may not have Hulu to rely on, Ustream provides CBS with options like social Twitter chat that can give the network an edge in breaking news coverage. Most of all, it gives CBS ammunition to compete with the 3-headed Hulu hydra.