The ad-supported network, called CBSN, launched Thursday. It is available around the clock on Internet-connected TVs, mobile phones and other devices, CBS News and CBS Interactive said in a joint announcement. Live coverage will initially span from 9 a.m. to midnight Eastern time (1300 GMT to 0400 GMT) in a 60-minute format enabling viewers to switch between earlier segments on a video-on-demand basis and the network's live programming.
"We're not just taking television and putting it on the Web, and we're not just stacking up a bunch of VOD elements," said CBS News President David Rhodes. "We think what people want from streaming is something in between."
The result with CBSN, he said, is "a mix of live, anchored coverage which you can sit back and watch, and active VOD-style elements, which, if you like, you can use to personalize your experience."
Though official word of CBSN wasn't released until moments after it debuted ("We try to announce things when people can see them," Rhodes explained), he said the new venture had been actively in the works for about a year.
CBSN will carry simulcasts of CBS News special reports for breaking news and offer additional content from CBS resources ranging from affiliate stations and CBSSports.com to CNET and "Entertainment Tonight."
On-camera talent will chiefly be familiar CBS News correspondents, Rhodes said. "We want viewers to know CBSN is at the same level of quality" as more traditional CBS News outlets.
The new network will be available on CBSNews.com, its mobile website and the CBS News app, as well as key-connected TV devices including Amazon Fire TV and Roku players.
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