Nework exec says an announcement could come this week on a deal that will allow the network to distribute primetime shows on the Web and give affiliates a piece of the action.
CBS and its affiliates are close to an agreement that would clear the way for the network to repurpose network programs over new media, while guaranteeing the affiliates first-run exclusivity and a share of the repurposing revenue, according to a senior CBS executive.
Announcement of the deal could come this week, said Preston Farr, senior vice president, affiliate relations, CBS.
Farr, who appeared on a panel at the BCFM conference in Orlando, Fla., declined to provide details of the deal, saying that he did not want to get ahead of the official announcement and that those details were still being worked out.
“It’s the model for our future business relationship in the digital world,” said Farr. “It clearly defines the rights and the opportunities.”
The agreement would be along the same lines as that struck between Fox and its affiliates in April, Farr said. Just like the Fox deal, he said, the CBS deal would be packaged with an extension of the agreement by which the CBS affiliates pick up part of the cost of the National Football League TV rights.
With the new agreement in place, Farr said, CBS will offer Big Brother 7: All-Stars as a pay download over the Web this summer. And selected affiliates, he said, will promote the Web offering on air to see if the buy rates and revenue justify the cost of their air time. The new cycle of the reality series starts July 6.