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CBS Launches YouTube Channel

A week after signing a deal with YouTube, CBS has launched its branded channel on the site. The channel, for which CBS will sell ads and split revenues with YouTube, will offer clips from current CBS-owned shows, library sports footage and the online preview for its evening newscast.

Initial content on the "CBS Brand Channel" will include the Late Show With David Letterman, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, NCIS and CSI: Miami in addition to old sports footage, such as March Madness highlights, and CBS News First Look With Katie Couric, the daily Webisodes the network has been offering on its own site to precede the TV newscast.

CBS plans to offer other network-owned programming, such as Survivor, CSI, CSI: NY, Jericho and Numb3rs; newsclips from programs including the Evening News, The Early Show and 48 Hours; sports video from CBS-owned college sports network CSTV and analysis from the network; and clips from CBS-owned pay-cable network Showtime.

CBS' branded network represents the network's effort to cautiously embrace YouTube at a time when all of the networks are struggling to figure out whether the online video behemoth is a friend or a foe. NBC, which initially scorned YouTube for posting a clip of SNL, paired with the site on a branded channel of its own over the summer (see our article on the topic). 

So far, YouTube has protected itself from copyright infringement lawsuits by pulling network content posted without their consent, upon request. As part of CBS' YouTube deal - cut hours before the site was bought by Google (see our article on that)- if CBS allows user-posted network content to remain on the site, YouTube can sell ads ads against it and split the revenue with CBS.