'Survivor' Finale Free on VOD Thanks to GM

CBS, Comcast Usually Charge Consumers 99 Cents a Show

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Thanks to General Motors Corp.'s sponsorship, "Survivor" fans in select markets who miss the show's season finale on CBS will still be able to watch the game's final machinations by ordering the episode for no additional charge through Comcast's video-on-demand platform.
The GM-sponsored 'Survivor' VOD offering is the next step of a CBS-Comcast partnership.
The GM-sponsored 'Survivor' VOD offering is the next step of a CBS-Comcast partnership.

The deal marks the next step of a CBS-Comcast partnership, which launched earlier this year. Currently, CBS owned-and-operated TV stations offer episodes of "CSI," "NCIS," "Survivor" and the "Amazing Race" on Comcast on Demand for 99 cents. This will be the first time an advertiser has fully sponsored on-demand prime-time broadcast programming.

"We are pleased that through this GM sponsorship we are able to expand our partnership with Comcast," Jo Ann Ross, CBS president-sales said in a statement. "Technology continues to allow us to partner with our clients in new and exciting ways."

Three commercials
Comcast Digital Cable subscribers in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia will be able to watch both "Survivor Finale" and "Survivor Reunion" on VOD for free. The program will air with only three commercials -- one before, one at the midpoint and one at the conclusion of the program. The programs will be available on VOD from May 15, the day after the original broadcasts on CBS, through Aug. 31.

The ads direct viewers to the GM Showroom, an on-demand destination that provides short- and long-form videos, along with in-depth product walk-arounds of various GM vehicles. GM views VOD much as it does its online activity, as an effective tool for educating consumers.

"The digital format gives us the opportunity to present our product in the comfort of a consumer's family room," a GM spokesperson said. "It's advantageous for us to let people see our cars on their flat-screen TV, accompanied by the TV's stereo sound."

GM's ties with 'Survivor'
GM has had a relationship -- including product-integration deals -- with Mark Burnett's "Survivor" since its very first season. "This move will strengthen our relationship with [the program] and at the same time provide us with a new way to encourage 'Survivor' viewers to visit us in the GM Showroom as On Demand users," Betsy Lazar, executive director-media and advertising operations, GM, said in a statement.

CBS and Comcast see this kind of deal with advertisers as a natural outgrowth of their partnership. "We're offering advertisers new ways to reach very targeted and engaged audiences," Charlie Thurston, president, Comcast Spotlight, said in a statement.
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