On the day when most television shows began their new season, including the premiere of “The Jay Leno Show”, CBC launched a spiffy new video portal on Monday.
The CBC blog promoted the portal as being, “Tailored for longer video viewing. The clips are high quality and often full episodes, unlike the shorter clips that you usually find on YouTube.”
As more Canadian networks adapt HD in broadcast form, it’s no different for their online ventures. Similar portals in the U.S. have proven to be widely successful; as is the case with NBC’s Hulu.com, which has now become the third most popular video site on the Internet.
From a business standpoint, network video portals are a cash generating machine. Often supplied with pre-roll advertisements to make up for cutting out the commercials, online video is growing immensely more popular for broadcasters.
HD video has already been available for months in anticipation for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. CTV has been testing different formats and making tweaks to its CTVOlympics.ca website to make it the primary tool for fans to watch highlights of both the opening/closing ceremonies, along with complete sporting events. Live streaming will also play a major roll. Hopefully CTV hasn’t underestimated the amount of bandwidth they’ll need. NBC found this out the hard way when their Olympic site crashed during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.