Nets Boost Web Video

Apr 2, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The big five broadcast networks all are on the verge of significantly ramping up the original video offerings on their Web sites. Here’s the news of their upcoming plans and a snapshot of how each site has fared so far.

Coming soon: ABC is expanding its online environment dedicated to “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” where fans can upload clips. The videos will be screened and critiqued. The best clips and comments will be incorporated into the next season of the series.
Previously announced: The network will add national and local news programming, along with a new player that will offer localized ad insertion.
Existing features: Full episodes of 14 shows available in full-screen resolution
Most popular shows: “Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live”
Video player: Full Episode Player, launched May 2006
Average monthly visitors: 9 million

Coming soon: CBS plans to launch an eight-episode online spinoff of “The Ghost Whisperer.” The scripted series, “The Ghost Whisperer: The Other Side,” is about an earthbound spirit unraveling the mystery of his own death. The network is also set to offer “Clark and Michael,” an online exclusive mockumentary about two clueless aspiring TV producers.
Existing features: Full episode streams of most shows, plus several original series
Most popular shows: “CSI,” “Survivor,” “Jericho”
Video player: Innertube, launched May 2006
Average monthly visitors: 5.6 million

The CW
Coming soon: The CW will offer a live chat feature to enable fans to communicate while watching streaming videos on CWTV.com. Also, while watching episode streams that include popular music, information about the song will appear within the video player and give users the option of purchasing the track via iTunes.
Existing features: Full episodes of nine shows; The CW Lab, where users can create their own promos for CW shows; CW Style, where users can find out what brands characters are wearing
Most popular shows: “One Tree Hill,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “Veronica Mars”
Video player: The CW Video Hub, launched January 2007
Average monthly visitors: 1.1 million

Coming soon: Fox’s site, which has been almost exclusively devoted to supporting programs on the regular channel, will add several online-only original series.
Previously announced: The company plans to roll out episode streaming to 200 Fox-owned affiliates’ sites and has pacted to team with NBC for a site that will stream television and movie content.
Existing features: Full episodes of 13 shows; spreads out content to partners such as MySpace
Most popular shows: “24,” “Prison Break”
Video player: Fox On Demand, launched August 2006
Average monthly visitors: 3.7 million

Coming soon: NBC is shooting making-of documentaries for its pilot “Bionic Woman,” and is set to announce contestant backstory videos for the fall season of “Deal or No Deal.”
Previously announced: Social networking tools and online viewing parties also are in the works.
Existing features: Full episodes of 11 shows available plus auxiliary games, blogs and short-form videos supporting popular titles
Most popular shows: “Heroes,” “The Office”
Video player: NBC Rewind, launched September 2006
Average monthly visitors: 9 million

Note: Average monthly visitors for September 2006-February 2007
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings