CBS will launch an affiliate-based online network, CBS.NOW, this fall. It will be offered to affiliates free of charge through Sept. 1, 1998, if they sign up by Sept. 1, 1997. CBS described the network to its affiliates' meeting this week. Mixing local and national content, CBS.NOW will have a soft launch this fall and be fully launched in January 1998, in time for the Winter Olympics.
CBS follows NBC and ABC in announcing affiliate online networks. Warner Bros. was first out of the block with CityWeb, which it is marketing to stations of any affiliation. But the networks have put pressure on their affiliates not to join up with CityWeb.
Copyright May 1997, Crain Communications Inc.