CBS Sells 'Good Wife' Reruns With Internet Viewers First in Line

Network Getting Increasingly Creative in Streaming Deals

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CBS Corp. has sold rerun rights to "The Good Wife," one of broadcast TV's most popular programs, in a new arrangement giving Amazon's web video customers first access to the show, CBS said today.

'The Good Wife'
'The Good Wife' Credit: CBS

The first three seasons of "The Good Wife" will become available on Amazon Prime Instant Video starting tomorrow, according to CBS, which noted that Prime Instant videos run commercial-free. Hulu Plus, Hulu's paid service, will get the shows starting in September. And then only next January will cable's Hallmark channel begin airing the program.

Selling syndication rights is an essential part of broadcast TV networks' business model, but serialized dramas such as "The Good Wife" don't usually find as much demand as series such as sitcoms where watching in order is less important. Serialized shows may be perfectly suited for streaming services, however, because subscribers can control when they watch and consume many episodes in quick succession -- the so-called binge viewing that Netflix has encouraged by making every episode of its original series "House of Cards" available at once.

The deal follows CBS's pact to make the upcoming summer miniseries "Under the Dome" available on Amazon Prime just four days after each episode airs on TV. Even more than a serialized drama, miniseries don't yield the same demand for lucrative syndication runs on other TV networks or local stations.

~ Bloomberg News with Ad Age staff ~

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