CBS isn't the only one betting big on Stephen King.
The summer series "Under The Dome" is one of the cornerstones of the network's programming schedule this year, with the network amping up promotion for it during the Super Bowl in anticipation of its June premiere. Now, CBS has reached an agreement with a major provider of online streaming content, Amazon Instant, in order to provide episodes to its subscribers just four days after they air.
According to today's announcement, Amazon Prime members will gain unlimited streaming access to the episodes four days after initial broadcast on CBS. There was some speculation that episodes could have been made available just 24 hours after air, but the compromise enables the network to strike a balance between advertising revenue and timely availability. "Amazon has the distinct combination of having a terrific video service with a huge fan base among their customers for Stephen King’s book, making them the perfect partner for this summer programming event," said Scott Koondel, Chief Corporate Content Licensing Officer, CBS Corporation. "With this innovative agreement, we’re giving fans more options to watch and stay current with this serialized series, and doing so in a way that protects the Television Network’s C3 advertising window."
The VOD deal was apparently built into the network's agreement to greenlight the series, as the Amazon partnership will enable CBS to mitigate the high price tag of one of the year's bigger, most high-profile series. "With creative forces of Stephen King and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television behind 'Under the Dome,' we think our customers will love this new show and we’re excited to be able to offer this highly-anticipated series at no additional cost to Prime members,” said Brad Beale, Director of Digital Video Content Acquisition for Amazon. "Adding a current season major network TV series like 'Under the Dome' to the Prime Instant Video library so shortly after its live airing enables us to increase our exclusive selection of great TV shows and give customers access how, when and where they want to watch it."