CW to Double Ads in Web Shows

Seeking to mine a growing audience for TV shows online, The CW Network is taking a route that other broadcasters have avoided: putting as many ads in Web versions of its shows as it airs on TV.

The U.S. network, a joint venture of CBS Corp. (CBS) and Time Warner (TWX) Inc., plans next TV season to double the commercials in Web versions of its shows, including “Gossip Girl.” That’s a steep increase from the one or two ads per online commercial break that have become more standard as media companies jockey to keep Web video from undermining the traditional TV business.

Television networks are being forced to rethink their Web strategies as more viewers turn to Web video and ad revenue there remains paltry. The wide availability of TV shows online could lead younger viewers to ditch pay-TV subscriptions, from which TV companies reap tens of billions of dollars a year.

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