FYI: 08.10.05

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CBS, which this fall plans a major push to integrate wireless media into its lineup, last week launched what is being touted as one of the largest premium text-messaging programs in the U.S. CBS reports some 377,000 viewers voted in the Big Brother 6 "America's Choice" program, with each viewer paying 49 cents for the privilege. Unlike Fox's American Idol, which is sponsored by Cingular Wireless and counts only votes from Cingular customers, votes in Big Brother can be cast by Cingular, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, Nextel and T-Mobile subscribers. "We will cover our costs with this -- it is not a profit-generating machine at this point," said Cyriac Roeding, vice president of wireless for CBS digital media. Revenue generated is split with the carriers, he said. The program is set to prevent more than 15 votes per cell phone. CBS, in a move similar to the securing of 800 numbers that can be tied to specific business, also has taken the text code 22788 or CBSTV, which will be used for voting in Big Brother and other programs throughout the season.
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