CBS testing whether online video can make new shows profitable

After the success of its show "Under the Dome" this summer, CBS (NYSE: CBS) is looking at ways to work with online video distributors to boost the profitability of new shows, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

With "Under the Dome," Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) bought rights to the show that let it stream new episodes to customers just four days after they aired. "We had to make a deal unlike any we've ever made," CBS CEO Leslie Moonves told reporters at the Television Critics Association, the Journal reported.

Online distributors are increasingly partnering with traditional TV networks to get online rights sooner. Like Amazon's deal with CBS, AMC recently gave Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) the rights to show episodes of "The Killing" soon after they air.

Amazon has not revealed the online viewing numbers for "Under the Dome," Moonves told reporters. "But when I ran into [Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos at Sun Valley, he literally sought me out to tell me how proud he was about 'Under the Dome,'" Moonves said, according to a report in MediaDailyNews.

For more:
- the Wall Street Journal had this report (sub. req.)
MediaDailyNews had this report

Related articles:
Netflix says rise in online video distributors benefits content owners, creators
Premium online video content could siphon TV ad money, analysts say 
Straight-to-online-video spreads to feature films as Web TV productions rise