Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, February 24, 2021

While giving an overview on the ups and downs of online video repository Hulu, Fortune’s Jessi Hempel makes the following observation about another television network-owned site:

Consider TV.com. It is now the property of CBS (CBS, Fortune 500), the media juggernaut that passed on its opportunity to join with the other big networks in Hulu’s original launch. But when Hulu first partnered with TV.com, it was owned by CNET, and basically served as a TV fan site that hosted mostly user-generated content. That changed when CBS paid $1.8 billion for CNET last year. (TV.com? The golden URL alone was surely a major asset to CBS in the acquisition.)

Yes, it surely was. And in fact, when that billion-dollar deal went down, I argued that that “golden URL” was a primary driver for CBS bothering with CNET at all:

Yes, I’m characterizing this deal as essentially another dollars-for-domains transaction. Unlike other instances, though, this one actually makes sense. There’s no other way to establish the kind of mindshare that two dead-simple dot-com addresses [TV.com and news.com] bring. Having these two roads lead to CBS online properties will count big, with overall brand-building and online revenue generation via ads and other channels.

I still feel that way. I’ve noticed that CBS is promoting TV.com with primetime and late-night commercials, so they’re well on the road toward pumping up that online home. I haven’t detected a similar effort for news.com, which came along with the CNET purchase, but I expect it to be transformed from a tech-news focus to a redirect for CBSNews.com eventually.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/24/2009 09:24:51 PM
Category: Business, Internet, TV
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