CBS Television will begin showing episodes of several new and returning prime-time shows for free on the Internet, becoming the second network to do so.
CBS already sells downloads of episodes on Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes Music Store and Google Inc.'s video store. In May, it launched an advertising-supported online channel called "innertube" to stream programming created just for the Web.
The network said Tuesday that starting next month it will begin streaming episodes of a new show, "Jericho," as well as returning shows "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "CSI: Miami," "CSI: NY," "NCIS," "Numbers" and "Survivor."
The shows will contain fewer ads than when they are shown on TV. The ads also will be shorter — typically 15 second to 30 seconds — and cannot be skipped, CBS said.
The shows will become available the day after they appear on TV. Episodes of "Jericho" and "Survivor" will remain available online for the entire season, while episodes of the other shows will be online for four weeks following their initial airing.
"Making our new and returning prime-time series available to our viewers is the next step in innertube's programming evolution," Larry Kramer, president of CBS Digital Media, said in a statement.
ABC began showing episodes of four prime-time shows, including "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" for free online in May. The network was the first to sell episodes on iTunes last October.
ABC recently hailed the success of its later effort, saying that in May and June, the network's site showed 16 million video streams. The network is expected to expand its online offerings in the fall.
NBC does not yet offer prime-time ad-supported episodes online. The network has started a new Web site to stream the pilot episodes of two new shows, "Friday Night Lights" and "30 Rock."
The network also is offering DVDs of two other new shows "Studio 60" and "Kidnapped" through a partnership with Netflix Inc.
The Fox network has not yet begun showing episodes online, although it does sell episodes on iTunes.