paidContent.org is reporting that CBS is relaunching TV.com.
CBS Interactive is relaunching TV.com, hoping to transform the well-named site known for its TV-related community and user-generated content into a serious video destination, paidContent has learned. The full-scale relaunch with new content partners is slated for January but the cosmetic changes will start this week with a new look and logo, according to sources familiar with the plans. TV.com is among the assets CBS (NYSE: CBS) picked up with its $1.8 billion acquisition of CNET last summer. (The other notable non-brand domains: News.com, MP3. com and Radio.com). Despite having the ultimate url and folding in some video through agreements first with CBS and then with Hulu, CNET missed multiple opportunities to grab early advantage. Now it’s playing catchup with a number of competitors, including Hulu and newest challenger Sling.com.
While it’s being talked about by content partners and others as the CBS answer to Hulu.com, that’s not quite the way I think CBS sees it. Hulu.com, launched in beta in late 2007 and for real in March 2008, is a video destination with a solid video search engine and some community elements that have yet to really take off. Launched in 2005, TV.com has been a “digital water cooler” about anything and everything having to do with TV, drawing more than 16 million unique monthly visitors and boasting info about nearly 19,000 shows. As planned, the new version would blend the two by making TV.com into a real video destination, not a place where you happen to watch video, while continuing to build on its community strengths and its depth of content about TV. CBS doesn’t want TV.com to be Hulu—it wants to move beyond Hulu.