CBS buys into TV streaming firm

CBS Corporation has bought a minority stake in Syncbak, a technology company that streams local TV stations across the web and to mobile devices.

Announcing the strategic move, CBS said it “expects to work closely with its owned and affiliated television stations as well as advertisers, rights holders, cable, satellite and telco partners in the coming months and years as Syncbak becomes fully activated and deployed.”

At the same time, CBS said Syncbak will continue to offer its platform to other broadcast networks and their station groups. Syncbak’s technology is currently being tested by more than 100 television stations in 70 markets, including major US networks like CBS, ABC, Fox, NBC and The CW.

The move follows CBS’s ongoing spat with Aereo, a firm that uses a similar TV channel streaming technology.

Last year Aereo was hit by lawsuits from 17 broadcasters including Fox, Univision, ABC, NBC, CBS, alleging that the service infringed their copyrights. They claimed that Aereo should not be allowed to retransmit television stations over the web without licensing the content from content owners or receiving consent from the TV signal owners.

However, earlier this month, a ruling by the second circuit court of appeals in New York upheld a previous decision, denying an injunction against the firm for distributing broadcast television over the web. Aereo is currently live in New York and plans to launch in 22 new US cities this year. In January the startup raised US$38 million (€29 million) in funding.

Tags: CBS, Syncbak

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