Continuing its direct-to-consumer push, CBS has launched CBSN New York, the first of several planned services to stream anchored news coverage from its owned stations in major local markets.
CBS Television Stations and CBS Interactive teamed on the new initiative, which follows the entry four years ago of CBSN, an ad-supported streaming extension of the CBS News brand. The company said CBSN’s tally of average monthly viewers has grown 30% over 2017 levels, with nearly 80% of viewers between 18 and 49.
CBSN New York is available through CBSN on CBSNews.com and CBS News apps for mobile and connected TV devices, starting tonight. Viewers can also go to CBSNewYork.com and the CBS Local mobile app.
CBSN Local services will launch CBS Los Angeles in early 2019, followed by other major markets where CBS owns local television stations.
The CBSN Local services will be ad-supported. They are hitting the market after CBS has gained experience with AVOD channels across news, sports and entertainment. Down the road, the local services will ultimately be included as live channels in CBS All Access in their respective markets.
CBSN New York features live streams of regularly scheduled newscasts on WCBS and WLNY and additional weekday one-hour newscasts at 7AM, 1PM and 7PM that will be produced exclusively for CBSN New York. In addition, CBSN New York will provide live coverage of breaking news events and an extensive library of local news content available for on-demand viewing.
Programming on CBSN New York will be led by WCBS and WLNY anchors and reporters as well as a team of journalists who will report exclusively for CBSN New York.
“The launch of CBSN New York represents the beginning of an exciting new era for our local media business,” said Peter Dunn, President, CBS Television Stations. “We are thrilled to be able to provide our premium local news content on all of the most popular platforms and open the door to multiple revenue streams. CBSN New York and the other streaming local news services launching in 2019 will be a perfect companion to the award-winning national and global news reporting provided by CBSN.”
The local station business in general has been grappling with ways to respond to the rapid rise of streaming and digital competition, resisting the notion of a major change in approach that could risk legacy revenue streams. A host of technical and political snags have thus far prevented coalition-led efforts to put station signals “over the top” in large numbers, though aggregators like NewsOn have been delivering a selection of offerings from across the country.
“CBSN viewers have told us they want more local content, and we know there will be a tremendous appetite for the high-quality, live-streaming local coverage from our stations around the country,” said Christy Tanner, Executive Vice President & General Manager, CBS News Digital.