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Sling, CBS Let Viewers Clip and Send TV

Want an easy way to take a snippet of TV and sent it to a friend? Sling Media , the company that lets viewers watch TV on computers or phones, thinks it has one. At Tuesday’s Consumer Electronics Show, the company announced Clip+Sling, an enhancement to its SlingPlayer software that will let viewers clip TV programming and instantaneously upload it to the Internet or e-mail it to a friend.
Clip+Sling, the first product coming out of the Sling’s new Entertainment Group, was designed to let viewers share professional, rather than consumer-created, content. To that end, the company used Leslie Moonves’ keynote speech at CES to announce the new product; CBS is the first channel agreeing to submit its content for clipping as part of a beta test of Clip+Sling.
In one of the most anticipated panels at CES, Moonves was expected to take the stage alongside executives from several other new-media companies.
“We’re not aiming to be the user-generated capital of the Internet – YouTube has done a great job of that,” Sling’s Entertainment Group President Jason Hirschhorn tells B&C. “What we want to do is be the leader purveyor of organizing, having access to and distributing professional produced content – film, TV and advertising.”
Here’s how it works – Sling’s player lets viewers watch live or recorded TV on a computer via a broadband connection or on some phones. So, say you’re watching a show and you see a funny scene or a great sports move or some other watercooler-worthy bit of programming. By hitting a button on the SlingPlayer, you could clip the scene, tag it, title it, describe it, and send it via e-mail to someone else or upload it to a new Website.
Sling will initially create its own online video community and use the clipped content to populate the Website. Later, it could cut deals with other online video sites, like YouTube, to enable viewers to send video to multiple places.
Clip+Sling could be a boon to major media companies looking to profit off their content on emerging platforms like the Internet. Without having to deliver anything to Sling – the viewers will take care of that – the companies, in partnership with Sling, would get to sell advertising against it.
“We think this new capability, if done with consideration for the content owners, is intriguing and worthy of study,” said CBS Interactive President Quincy Smith in a statement.
The product would also let them see which scenes or characters are popular among viewers, based on which get clipped, says Hirschhorn, who was spending part of CES approaching other networks to participate.
“We know the atomization of content is happening,” Hirschhorn says. “The media companies are playing catch-up to their own content, and it’s hard to catch. How can we build a system where you know what’s being clipped up and can report back to the companies and create a new revenue model for them?”
Sling expects to add the clipping feature to its software by second quarter. Earlier in the week, Sling announced the SlingCatcher, a device that would allow viewing of Internet content on TVs.