CBS, Disney plan push for Web market
CBS Corp and Walt Disney Co will use next week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to expand efforts to get their movies and television shows onto the Web and mobile devices.
Disney CEO Robert Iger will announce an overhaul of the company's Web site at the Las Vegas event, which starts today. He and CBS CEO Les Moonves will be the first media company CEOs to give keynote speeches in the conference's 40-year history.
Moonves plans to broaden the ways CBS offers its shows.
"We have our toe in the water of 100 different lakes," New York-based Moonves said in an interview yesterday. "Some will work out, some won't."
The presence of Moonves and Iger underscores the entertainment industry's need to counter traditional advertising declines and lower DVD and box-office sales.
Disney and CBS have forged partnerships with phone, cable and Internet providers as well as companies including Apple Computer Inc.
The past year marked a detente between media and technology companies that typically attend the Consumer Electronics Association's annual convention.
The two industries have sparred over copyright and fair-use issues, Gary Shapiro, chief executive officer of the association, said in an interview.
Last year Apple's iTunes began selling Disney films, and CBS started providing TV programs to Google Inc's YouTube.
"The content community wants to keep exhibiting control," Shapiro said. "We want to make sure consumers have the right to do what they want in their home with content. That's something that's very important to us."
Google Inc, which used last year's event to announce the introduction of free software programs and TV shows on its video service, won't have a booth at this year's event. While Intel Corp and Yahoo Inc plan to talk about new products at CES this year, their CEOs won't be giving speeches.
Yahoo, which trails Google in Internet search, will unveil new Web services for mobile phones next week, spokeswoman Nicole Leverich said in an e-mail.
Iger, 55, will announce plans to add more social networking features such as chat rooms onto Disney's Web sites, spokeswoman Michelle Haworth said.
The company will also sell merchandise, DVDs, travel packages and theme park tickets on the redesigned site, she said.