The deal, announced Wednesday, brings 13 local CBS News streams to the service, bringing the amount of local news stations available through NewsOn to over 250.
“We are really thrilled to work with CBS News and Stations and bring their news product to NewsON’s multiplatform user base,” Ron Stitt, the general manager of NewsOn, said in a statement. “CBS has been a leader in the development of [streaming] local news, and we are pleased they are joining and supporting a large body of network affiliates who participate in NewsOn to ensure they are connecting with [streaming] audiences and maximizing reach and revenue with their content.”
The deal marks a reversal for NewsOn, which has seen major media companies leave the platform as they build out their own streaming endeavors. In 2020, the Walt Disney Company pulled around a dozen local news streams from its ABC-owned stations after it developed standalone streaming TV apps for each individual outlet. Prior to Disney’s departure, local news streams operated by Nexstar Media Group were also dropped from the service.
Paramount Global has been aggressive in offering local news versions of its streaming CBS News Digital service. In 2018, the company launched CBSN New York (now called CBS News New York), the first step of a new strategy to launch local news streams from its owned-and-operated stations.
Today, the company has over a dozen local CBS News streams originating from its owned-and-operated stations in a handful of regions, including Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Minneapolis and Sacramento. All stations are available to stream for free through the CBS News app and on the ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV. Subscribers of Paramount Plus also have access to the CBS News streams.
But CBS is not keeping the online local news channels entirely to itself: The company makes a handful of local CBS News streams available on Comcast’s free, ad-supported service Xumo. Now, it is expanding that third-party distribution strategy to make every local CBS News stream available to NewsOn users.
“Ron and the team are innovators and true champions of local news, and we are optimistic that the addition of our streaming channels will help expand their consumer offering and grow our audience,” Sahand Sepehrnia, the senior vice president of streaming at CBS Local, said in a statement.
In addition to the CBS stations, NewsOn provides access to live local news streams from broadcast outlets owned or operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, TEGNA, Hearst Television, Cox Media Group, Hubbard Broadcasting and other companies.