CBS has invested in Syncbak, a local TV streaming service. Syncbak is competing directly against Aereo. Aereo refuses to pay retransmission fees to the broadcasters so CBS’ investment seems to be a direct response to that threat. CBS’ investment was not disclosed. Previous investors in Syncbak includes Jack Perry, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Consumer Electronics Association, Northwest Broadcasting, and three former executives at NBC.
Syncbak is currently in test mode and they allow local stations stream signals to consumers on Apple tablets and smartphones. The company is currently developing Android apps. Syncbak is also working on a DVR-in-the-cloud service. Aereo is doing almost the same thing. The stations available on Syncbak are only available to customers for their pay-TV partners. They must also verify their subscription.
Around 100 TV stations across 70 markets and 31 broadcast groups are currently testing Syncbak including CBS, ABC, FOX, NBC, and the CW.
Stations are able to track the viewing metrics to get credit for ad impressions and control what content is put online. CBS will be working with their owned and affiliated TV stations along with advertisers, cable partners, satellite partners, etc. in the coming months as Syncbak becomes fully deployed.
?We have admired and worked with Syncbak?s CEO Jack Perry since the mid-?90s,? stated CBS EVP of planning, policy, and government Martin Franks. ?Over the last couple years, we have worked with Jack as he developed Syncbak?s very elegant technology platform, which presents several interesting opportunities for broadcast networks, their stations and affiliates.?