CBS Interactive Hopes To Gather TV Viewers And Web Users In 'Social Viewing Rooms'

This story was written by David Kaplan.
While the data on how many viewers are watching TV and surfing the web simultaneously has been a little thin the past few years, CBS Interactive (NYSE: CBS) feels it has little to lose with a new service that aims to capture those viewers doing both. Its new Social Viewing Room service will encourage users to watch shows on TV, find like-minded fans and participate in chats around a particular program. This is something that MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA) has pursued for awhile, with shows like The Hills. But CBS, which has historically attracted the oldest audiences of the major broadcasters, has been a little late to the game. At the launch, there are about a dozen shows in the Social Viewing Room. As part of a promotional campaign around CBS' new service, Intel (NSDQ: INTC) is having its brand "weaved" into the room's content, which are grouped into three channelsprimetime, daytime and CBS Classics. Release

-- THR: If the Social Viewing Room attracts enough participants, CBS expects to expand the model to such other CBS Corp. divisions, such as the CW and Showtime. 

By David Kaplan