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CBSN

CBSN, the 24/7 digital streaming news service for CBS News, is expanding internationally to pull in more digital TV ad dollars, while also expanding its audience.

The big picture: The company has brokered over-the-top (OTT) TV carriage partnerships with connected TV providers in over 89 countries outside of the United States.

  • "It's always chicken and the egg with international," says Christy Tanner, Executive Vice President & General Manager of CBS News Digital.
  • "We need to build the audience first in order to have the volume to turn it into a robust AVOD (advertising video on-demand) advertising businesses."

Be smart: The international expansion comes on the heels of the CBS merger with Viacom, which closed late last year.

  • Tanner says that the international sales forces at both companies can combine their efforts to sell more ads for CBSN.
  • "We do think that will be one of the benefits of the merger. There are strong international ad sales teams at Viacom and we now have more relationships to tap into and capabilities in international sales."

Details: The company has brokered partnerships with several smart TV manufacturers and smart TV software platforms to make its CBSN app available across the world.

  • Those platforms include Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices, iOS mobile apps, LG Smart TVs, and VIZIO SmartCast.
  • Because CBSN had previously launched behind a paywall in Canada and Australia, the company has already done the heavy legwork to secure global content rights for things like background music.
  • "When we did that we created a process for everything we do day-to-day to make sure everything cleared globally so we wouldn't have to worry about global rollout," says Tanner.
  • The actual product, a 24/7 streaming channel in English, will be the exact same in every country abroad as what's aired in the U.S.

Between the lines: CBSN' has been planning this expansion prior to the pandemic and the protests, but Tanner says that traffic has skyrocketed in recent months, as the world grapples with those two events.

The company is expanding its OTT app to:

  • 34 EU countries (plus UK), including France, Germany and Sweden
  • 55 non-EU countries, including China, Brazil, Peru, and South Korea

By the numbers: CBSN's audience growth internationally year-over-year:

  • Canada (+129%), UK (+320%), Australia (+1,389%), India (+268%), Mexico (+104%), Philippines (+237%), Japan (+92%).

What's next: The product has been rolling out around the world in beta for a few weeks, but the official launch on most of these new platforms will be this week.

Go deeper

Sep 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

2 mins ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.