Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and CBS (NYSE: CBS, CBS.A) today announced an innovative sponsorship with General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM) that will make Survivor Finale and Survivor Reunion available for no additional charge to Comcast ON DEMAND customers in selected markets, marking the first time an advertiser has fully sponsored primetime broadcast on-demand programming.
Both Survivor Finale and Survivor Reunion will be available on Comcast's ON DEMAND service in CBS owned-and-operated markets beginning Monday morning, May 15, the day after their original broadcasts on the CBS television network. These programs, which usually would be available on demand for 99 cents per title, will be offered at no additional charge to Comcast Digital Cable customers in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia through August 31.
In these four major markets, Survivor Finale and Survivor Reunion VOD programs will feature only three brief commercial messages: one before the show begins, one at the midpoint and one at the conclusion. Those commercials will be targeted spots directing viewers to the GM Showroom, which can be accessed through Comcast's ON DEMAND menu by selecting "Searchlight" and then choosing the "Automotive" category.
"Comcast is changing the way people watch TV with VOD, and now we're offering advertisers new ways to reach very targeted and engaged audiences," said Charlie Thurston, President of Comcast Spotlight. "As the VOD business model continues to evolve, we are committed to developing VOD as an ad- supported platform that offers unique marketing opportunities for our clients and free content for our subscribers."
Comcast Searchlight is an advertiser-supported ON DEMAND destination where customers can find information on a variety of products and services. The GM Showroom provides long-form videos with detailed information and demonstrations of various GM vehicles.
"We at GM are excited about this new opportunity to help bring CBS programming to its loyal fans through Comcast ON DEMAND for free," said Betsy Lazar, executive director, media and advertising operations for GM. "GM has a long history with Survivor, and this move will strengthen our relationship with them and at the same time, provide us with a new way to encourage Survivor viewers to visit us in the GM Showcase as ON DEMAND users."
"Technology continues to allow us to partner with our clients in new and exciting ways," said Jo Ann Ross, President, Sales, CBS Television Network. "We are pleased that through this GM sponsorship we are able to expand our partnership with Comcast to offer free VOD content to their subscribers in these markets."
The announcement is the next step in the CBS-Comcast partnership, which launched earlier this year and marked the first time a broadcast network offered its primetime programming on a cable provider's VOD platform. As part of that agreement, CBS owned-and-operated television stations (including the top 7 US markets) now offer episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, NCIS, Survivor and The Amazing Race on Comcast ON DEMAND for 99 cents per title. Customers can view available episodes anytime they want for up to 24 hours from the time they order them.
Comcast's ON DEMAND service offers a growing library of more than 7,500 programs available any time customers want to watch them - with the ability to fast forward, rewind and pause selections. Nearly 95% of ON DEMAND programs are available at no additional charge.
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A, CBS) is a mass media company with constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry, as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and UPN), cable television (Showtime), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Paramount Television and King World), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), theme parks (Paramount Parks), digital media (CBS Digital Media Group and CSTV Networks) and consumer products (CBS Consumer Products). For more information, log on to http://www.cbscorporation.com.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 21.7 million cable customers, 9.0 million high-speed Internet customers, and 1.5 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.
The Company's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, OLN, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One and four regional Comcast SportsNets. The Company also has a majority ownership in Comcast Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.
About General Motors
General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 75 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 327,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2005, 9.17 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM operates one of the world's leading finance companies, GMAC Financial Services, which offers automotive, residential and commercial financing and insurance. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at http://www.gm.com.