The O&Os will use the new technology for new user-generated content initiative on the Web.

CBS Television Stations today announced the development of an community-generated content initiative for its network of local Web sites that uses the new Microsoft Silverlight technology, a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for media experiences and applications on the Web.

The new initiative, which is being displayed in proof-of-concept form at the MIX07 conference in Las Vegas this week, is designed to help “bridge the gap between user-generated digital media and traditional TV broadcasts,” according to CBS.

“Central to our ‘Always On’ strategy has been the desire to create an interactive environment where our audiences can participate in the local broadcast process,” said Jonathan Leess, president and general manager of CBS Television Stations Digital Media Group. “This project, using Microsoft Silverlight technology, allows us to empower the massive long tail of untapped local media content which is waiting to converge with the broadband and broadcast mediums.”

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The new local initiative will allow users of the CBS-owned stations’ sites to view, upload, share, rate, comment, sort and search video, images, audio and text submissions. A key component of the application is its full integration into the existing content publishing workflow of the CBS Television Stations’ digital media groups. It allows the community-generated content to be managed alongside the station’s professional content in a single workflow.

“Broadcasting is no longer a one-way directional medium,” Leess added. “Audiences and advertisers are looking for compelling local content that speaks to them, to their families, to their neighbors. This project allows us to help foster that connection.”

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The CBS project will be built on the recently announced Microsoft Silverlight browser plug-in for Windows and Mac-based Web browsers and Microsoft Expression Media Encoder, a new tool for client and server-based encoding and publishing of Silverlight-based content. Silverlight integrates with existing Web technologies and assets to provide higher-quality experiences with lower costs for media delivery. Delivered to end users through a seamless, fast installation, Silverlight is designed for both Macintosh and Windows users on a variety of browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.


CBS Television Stations is working with Microsoft to build the Silverlight-powered beta version of its community-generated content initiative, which is expected to launch in select markets later this year.

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