CBS has hooked up with Internet portal Yahoo to deliver two of the network's prime-time sitcoms in a joint promotion dubbed "Comedy Bowl" that will run for one week.
Full half-hour episodes of CBS's "Two and a Half Men" and "How I Met Your Mother" on Tuesday began streaming, without commercials, on Yahoo TV (tv.yahoo.com) and will continue showing through the afternoon of Monday, January 2.
The two episodes from each series, which were broadcast earlier this season, are also accessible from Yahoo's video search page.
This marks the first time that Yahoo will stream an episode of a CBS television series in its entirety. Yahoo spokesperson Lynne Hentemann said the company has relationships with most of the leading TV networks, which have provided clips of shows for online viewing.
"We like to provide new content and new experiences for our customers, and TV shows are among the more popular offerings available," she said. At the same time, she added, the networks gain an outlet for promoting their properties and drawing more viewers.
CBS, which established its Digital Media arm earlier this year, delivers an array of content online through cbs.com, but the deal with Yahoo is the first partnership with an Internet service provider to offer an entire program.
Others have taken TV online as well. ABC, NBC, USA Network, and Disney are marketing some of their content on Apple's iTunes.
Google, AOL Also Tuning Up
"We're always looking for ways to provide current and potential new viewers every possible opportunity to sample our series," Nancy Tellem, president of CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group, said in a statement.
Although rival search engine Google has launched a service permitting people to find video clips online, Yahoo so far has been more aggressive in making its partnerships public, inking deals with CBS, MTV, Discovery, and others.
And AOL is poised to launch In2TV, offering episodes of some 30 classic TV series. The service is expected to debut in January.