Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Amazon Will Get New CBS Stephen King Series While It’s Still on the Air

under the domeOn June 24, CBS starts running “Under the Dome,” a 13-episode miniseries based on a Stephen King novel, produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television. And on June 28, Amazon Prime customers can begin watching the show online for free.

It’s no longer news when CBS or any big TV player licenses their stuff to subscription video companies like Amazon or Netflix. But this one does have a twist. It’s one of the few times subscription video customers can watch a show “in-season” — that is, they can see it online while it’s still running on TV.

CBS in particular has been conservative about keeping its shows offline for a long time. Frequently, it won’t license its stuff until the show is off the air, period.

The difference this time is that “Under the Dome” is a one-off summertime miniseries, and presumably CBS assumes that it will have limited value in reruns or syndication. So it’s willing to move things up quite a bit.

And even then it is careful to make sure that it maximizes its value for the network before it goes digital: The TV guys get advertising credit for anyone who watches their shows within the first three days after they air. Amazon won’t get the shows until that window closes.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald