ViacomCBS Inc. is close to selling CNET Media Group to Red Ventures LLC, according to people familiar with the matter, as the entertainment giant sheds parts of its business to focus on video streaming. Red Ventures, a media and technology company, is expected to pay about $500 million to acquire the network of websites, which includes CNET, GameSpot and ZDNet, the people said.
The possible sale is the latest as the studio, led by CEO Bob Bakish, looks to unload non-core assets after Viacom and CBS merged.
The Consumer Electronics Association has dropped CBS-owned CNET as the group that chooses winners of the annual “Best of CES” awards over chages of conflict of interest. CES also elevated the CNET writers’ initial pick for the best gadget of the show, Dish Network”s The Hopper, to co-winner along with a gaming tablet called Razer Edge.
The site’s editorial policy after its CES Awards nightmare leads to fancy footwork by the news team.
Dish is using the recent controversy over the Best In Show award the satcaster’s new Hopper with Sling DVR did not receive as a recruiting tool. The ad-zapping service was awarded the top prize by the editors of CNET before they were overruled by corporate parent CBS which is suing Dish over Hopper. On Sunday, Dish bought full-page ads in several major newspapers to crow about the award it didn’t get and blast CBS.
Dish Network has charged CBS Corp. with censoring its CNET site. Dish said in a statement that CBS directed the tech site to no longer consider a Dish product for an award, since CBS is engaged in litigation looking to shut it down.
Alki David, whose FilmOn venture was shut down by broadcasters for streaming their programming on the net without permissioni, dropped his suit against CBS for allegedly encouraging theft of other programming on Monday. But David is now promising to hit CBS with a “substantially” expanded lawsut in league with “numerous artists and other copyright owners.”
FilmOn founder Alki David says he plans to sue CBS and its CNET tech website for “illegal distribution of DRM [digital rights management] removal software as well as the illegal distribution of file sharing software with malicious intent to infringe on copyright.”
FilmOn may have been handed a temporary restraining order preventing it from re-streaming the network O&Os, but the service’s billionaire founder Alki David is retaliating by accusing plaintiff CBS with promoting piracy of music, movies and TV shows through CNET.