Poll--downloading leads to more TV watching

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A poll taken by CBS shows that over half of the users who have streamed CBS shows on the Web had never seen the shows before on TV. The network says that the new users then became fans of those shows.

CBS says this data will help it and the other networks in their efforts to monetize Web content. The more new people who watch shows at the network sites, the better ad rates the networks can command.

"We're looking at this as a key change in direction for us now and looking at our programming as dual distribution programming--over the air and on the Internet," CBS Corp. research chief David Poltrack told reporters today.

The new report adds to a report that ABC had conducted over the summer regarding impressions online ads made on Web surfers. In ABC's analysis, 87 percent of viewers at ABC.com said they recalled which advertisers had appeared during the shows they watched, and that those advertisers came off well due to advertising on the Web.

The networks are increasingly putting content onto the Web as if it is another TV channel. CBS recently put the remaining episodes of its canceled series Smith on its Innertube broadband site, Fox is running canned drama Vanished on its sites, and NBC put axed drama Kidnapped up at NBC.com. ABC has been broadcasting episodes of its shows online since last year.

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