CBS would be the first broadcast network to sell its shows via its own Internet storefront. The move signals that CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves believes the network is a potent enough brand that it can go it alone — without Apple Computer Inc.’s popular iTunes software and website — and thus not have to split the spoils.
In launching the “Survivor” downloads, CBS is endorsing a different purchasing model from the one used by iTunes. On CBS.com, buying an episode would be more like a video rental, because buyers have a temporary window in which to view a show.
A buyer of an iTunes download, by contrast, can replay it endlessly.
CBS is hoping that its system may better safeguard future DVD sales of its shows.
“It’s unclear how [iTunes downloads] will affect DVD sales,” said Larry Kramer, president of CBS Digital Media.
In addition, CBS wants to protect its overseas markets.