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CNET Chases Online Ad Dollars with Launch of TV.com

CNET Networks is launching a website about TV shows to take advantage of the booming online ad market, writes the Wall Street Journal. The site is scheduled to go online today at TV.com and is an indication of CNET's intent to expand beyond technology and videogames to attract female visitors and nontech advertisers. TV.com offers plot summaries, photos, video clips, cast lists and online forums related to TV series - from the 1940s to today. It builds on TVTome.com, which CNET acquired earlier this year for $5 million.

CNET is betting that the online ad boom will continue and is moving toward offering rich content, including video, to eventually rival cable TV. The expansion could put CNET at odds with online powerhouses such as Yahoo as well. CNET revenue rose 18 percent to $291 million last year. Net income was $11.7 million after four years of losses totaling nearly $3 billion.

The shift of ad dollars online has sparked acquisitions by traditional media. The New York Times, Washington Post and Dow Jones & Co. recently acquired companies that produce online content. More deals could be in the works.

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