SBJ/October 17 - 23, 2005/Media

CBS SportsLine brings in TWI Interactive

CBS has hired TWI Interactive to help produce its planned battery of online broadband video content.

The 18-month deal, which includes mutual options to extend the pact, calls for TWI Interactive crews to shoot and edit original video for the site, often using a specially designed, mobile film editing kit that will allow for content to go online within three hours of taping. The transfer of video from the field to CBS’s offices is also being done over the Internet, and without the need for satellites.

CBS intends to produce more than 500 original video features a year as part of its previously announced expansion of the site and enhanced linkage to CBS Sports.

The site’s video offerings began last month and are free to users, though short commercials typically precede the content.

“What we’re doing, quite simply, is trying to bring broadcast production sensibilities to the Internet, and do so in a way that allows for quick turnaround,” said Bill Squadron, head of TWI Interactive’s North American division. “A lot of what’s been out there on the Internet in the past has not been well produced, or is simply a replay of what’s been on TV.”

Joe Ferreira, CBS vice president of programming, said the TWI Interactive deal also allows the site to lessen its dependence on studio shows and local TV station affiliates.

“The video offerings are a very big part of what we’re doing, and fortunately, the early response from the advertising community has been very strong,” Ferreira said. “But to keep moving this forward, we have to be out in the field doing different things. It simply can’t all be studio, and this allows us to be mobile and very responsive.”

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