CBS signs US distribution deal with YouTube

After shunning studio darling Hulu in March, US TV network CBS has inked a content distribution agreement with YouTube.

Full-length episodes of a number of CBS shows - including MacGyver, Star Trek and Beverley Hills 90210 - are now available for viewing on the network's YouTube channel. The season premieres of current shows Dexter and Californication will also be added.  

CBS refused to sign onto network venture Hulu in March, baulking at the 30% cut the site was asking for.

Hulu was created by several major studios in an attempt to earn revenue from viewers who had switched to watching episodes on-line. Ad-supported episodes from a number of studios can be viewed on-line for free - but only by US residents.

YouTube has been experimenting with airing select episodes from CBS's ShowTime network for the past several months - for example, this season's premiere episode of 'The Tudors' was offered on YouTube a week before its air-date on ShowTime.

Just last week, Google added a feature to YouTube aimed at increasing the site's revenue stream. The click-to-buy feature will add context-sensitive ads to a number of videos.

For example, a video featuring a song might include a link to the song's entry on the iTunes music library.