CBS Broadens Internet Plans

Following widespread speculation of plans to expand its new media efforts, CBS Corp. Monday announced plans to invest in two leading Internet e-commerce companies.

CBS will form a new venture with Big Entertainment Inc. that will take control of, a Web site focusing on movie news.

CBS has committed $100 million to promote the venture across all its properties, including CBS television, Infinity Broadcasting, CBS’ radio and outdoor advertising subsidiary. Big Entertainment will own 65 percent of the venture and CBS the remaining 35 percent. CBS will promote the venture for seven years.

CBS will also receive warrants that will allow it to increase its stake in the entertainment venture by another 5 percent.

Separately, CBS also announced it will take a 50 percent stake in, an interactive shopping mall. StoreRunner allows visitors to compare prices on a variety of items at the top nationwide retailers.

CBS will also promote its storeRunner investment. StoreRunner also has plans to bring on smaller, local merchants and give them the ability to reach a much wider audience over the Internet.

“The world of e-commerce is growing exponentially. Here again, we believe success will go to those who offer consumers major brands that cut through the clutter,” said Mel Karmazin, CBS Corp.’s president and chief executive officer.

CBS already owns a 20 percent stake in SportsLine USA Inc. and a 38 percent stake in CBS

Karmazin said CBS will continue to explore new ways to capitalize on the Internet’s fast growth.

“We’re only at the beginning of our Internet strategy. Our goal is to be as strong a player in new media as we are in the established media of television, radio and outdoor,” he said.

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