Exclusive: CBS Will Build Out Online Programming Strategy for Fall

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CBS next season plans on building out its strategy of making new fall shows available online prior to their launch on the network, according to network research chief David Poltrack.

He said after finding success this season, the network will back the approach next fall "more aggressively." In addition to offering most or all shows online ahead of time, CBS is looking at increases in promotion and exposure for the online premieres, as well as additional content to support the launch.
CBS and other networks continue to make shows available online with the belief the tactic doesn't cannibalize television viewership, but actually builds it.
And according to Poltrack, 53% of people who watched the network's rookie shows online prior to their fall 2006 launch are still viewers of the show.
"You could argue that any number of them would have watched the show anyway, but maybe it would be three or four episodes in with all the clutter in the fall," he says. "Partly because so many shows these days are serialized, it is more important than ever to get them in there early."