George Schweitzer, Chief Marketing Officer at CBS, described the new CBS EYE-lert system, which will alert viewers via cell phone, email or other platform when a program will start later than its scheduled time. With sports programs not always sticking to their allotted time frame, (sometimes they do run longer than they are scheduled for), this new system will be helpful to viewers who want to watch specific programs. They will now be able to find out exactly when their shows are going to start late and what time they are going to begin.
George Schweitzer: The question on everyone's mind is will your Sunday shows start on time? And what we did is we are announcing today the CBS Eye-lert system. This is in response to viewers, your readers who could use this information. When we have NFL runovers on Sundays, we always get a lot of audience confusion, as you would imagine -- not only do the shows start at different times in different time zones. So we developed a system which we are announcing today - it's a multi-platform alert system. You can get it on your cell phone, or you can get it on your computer on e-mail, and as soon as we know the delay pattern for each of the NFL different regional networks that we run, we will get the starting information out. In fact, we'll send two messages -- the first will be to alert you to your viewers that there will be a delay that night, and the second will be exactly when you know what time the programs are delayed to. So it's a viewer-assistance program, and your viewers and yourselves will be able to sign up on either of these areas - CBS.com, on CBS.SportsLine, on CBSNews.com, and on CBS Eye-lert.com.
You'll get buzzed at 6:30 on a Sunday night or 7:15, and you'll know exactly when your favorites shows are on. I will also say we're working with TiVo because one of the big complaints from DVR owners is that they missed the shows because you were set up to record the show at 8 o'clock, and it doesn't come on until 8:27 on a Sunday because of football delay. We're working with the technicians at TiVo to develop a system that you can register and the TiVo signal will be re-programmed for you. So that's out there in the future, but we're working on that to that bring that along. So that's what we have.
How are you going to know what time they're going to end?
George Schweitzer: We know what time they end. Well, we will know by half-time if they're going to run long. So we send out an early alert saying, "Tonight's CBS schedule will run long," and then they will get a follow-up e-mail the minute we sign off the air, Tom, we know what the delay pattern is. So we will put that out, and we will put that out on cell phone and e-mail and on the CBS websites. So we will know to the second because, when we start regular programming, we can zap that information out.