CTV puts top shows online with sponsors

Lost, Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives are joining the online lineup at CTV - and so are Duracell and Volkswagen.

CTV has launched on-demand online streaming of Lost, Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives through its video player at CTV.ca, thanks to a deal with Disney-ABC International Television, and some big sponsors have signed on to support the shows.

Online streaming of Grey’s Anatomy is presented by Duracell, while online streaming of Lost is presented by Volkswagen. This is the first time the series have been streamed free and ad-supported in Canada. The deal includes full eps of remaining new episodes, as well as the last two eps of each series’ pre-hiatus broadcasts. The online eps will be live immediately following their West Coast broadcasts (for a 28-day window), along with recaps, previews and exclusive Lost content.

‘We are reaching out to new audiences and energizing existing fan bases by presenting content on viewers’ own terms,’ says CTV president of creative, content and channels Susanne Boyce. ‘These are three of the hottest shows on television today, and we want to make sure CTV viewers can stay on top of these fan favourites through the end of the season by catching up at their convenience.’

CTV began presenting US network series online in 2006, when the net stuck a deal with Warner Bros. International Television for The O.C., which was followed by Nip/Tuck, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Smith, Big Shots, Pushing Daisies and Gossip Girl. Now, CTVglobemedia puts nine video channels online: CTV, CTV News, TSN, The Comedy Network, MuchMusic, MTV, eTalk, Discovery Channel, SPACE, BNN and FashionTelevision.

Approximately seven million streams per week are played on CTVglobemedia’s video player. The December 2007 comScore Video Metrix pegged CTV at number three in Canada for online video properties, after Google and Microsoft, and number one for online network television.