Some cable networks are streaming full episodes of new shows online or on apps before they air on TV. As Lisa Bernhard reports, it's a bid to lure younger viewers.
In this age of TV cord cutting, a new strategy is emerging among cable networks that once seemed unthinkable: posting episodes of shows online and first before airing them on TV. The new move employed by Turner, Discovery and ESPN meant to reverse online migration by snaring those streaming viewers most of whom are younger and bringing them back to TV. Reuters media correspondent Jessica Toonkel: SOUNDBITE: JESSICA TOONKEL, MEDIA CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think it's interesting because they're realizing, we can't fight it, so we may as well use it to bring people in. It kind of shows how the networks are kind of desperate to do anything they can to try to lure younger viewers to their content." Turner has streamed five show premiers for free on Facebook and YouTube. One of them, its new family crime drama, "Animal Kingdom". The network says 16 percent of those online viewers - roughly 960,000 people - came back to watch the show on TV. But there's a risk as offering online freebies could upset the giant cable providers who pay hefty sums to networks to carry their content. Discovery ID Network taking a slightly different tack: streaming its shows solely on its own network app, available to viewers who already pay extra to include the network in their cable package.