TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.


Trial and Error

Borat Found on CBS-YouTube Channel, Other Videos MIA

November 27, 2006 2:37 PM

YouTube and CBS crowed last week about the sheer number of views CBS clips have generated on the popular video-sharing site. We declined to write about the announcement because it seemed like “made-up” news. However, since the two bedfellows are trumpeting their successful tryst, I thought we could have some fun checking out the CBS videos on YouTube.

The partnership kicked off Oct. 18 and the 300-plus CBS clips have garnered about 29.2 million views. That translates into about 857,000 views per day of material from shows such as “NCIS,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and “The Early Show.”

Now, I don’t dispute the numbers but I am curious if the videos are any good. In the press release, CBS and YouTube provided 10 or 15 URLs to the YouTube videos. I try the first one for “NCIS Catfight,” which generated more than 1.6 million views. The clip lasts nearly a minute and it’s not terribly interesting to me. But mind you, I don’t have a penchant for girls getting all “cage fighty,” as Dr. Izzie Stevens from “Grey’s Anatomy” would say.

Next, I click on a David Letterman interview of Borat. This video, with more than 1 million views, is laugh-out-loud funny. Even though YouTube has built its brand on edgy, user-generated videos some of the most popular viral videos have been outtakes from TV shows – Faith Hill’s silent outburst on the Country Music Awards, a CNN anchor dissing her in-laws, Connie Chung warbling goodbye on MSNBC. So why wouldn’t some CBS clips rank high as well?

I decide to try more videos, but most of the other links don’t work. They bring me to pages that say “error on page.” I try to find the clips other ways, by searching for the name of it, like “Bush drinking again” from Letterman. No luck.

So I go back to the original Borat interview to see if that will link me to some of the other Letterman videos. Then I see a link to watch the complete Borat interview on CBS.com. Now, I am thinking CBS is really smart for driving viewers to its page.

Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you what happens when I click through to CBS.com.


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