Google has reportedly signed its first US network partner in preparation for launching its web TV offering next year, which will function as a subscription service within its YouTube platform.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the search giant has reached an agreement with CBS Corp which will see all of the broadcaster's content, including live NFL games, streamed online via Google.
Google's offering, known as a 'skinny bundle', will have fewer channels than a traditional cable subscription, and will be available for monthly subscription between $30 and $40 (£24 and £32). 21st Century Fox, Disney and Viacom are reportedly also in advanced talks to distribute at least some of their channels.
An online TV service has been planned by Google for several years, but plans appear to be accelerating as several other offerings come to market. Dish Network and Sony have both launched similar 'skinny bundles' in the past year, designed to appeal to younger viewers unwilling to pay for cable, while AT&T and Hulu are both preparing to go live with online streaming platforms in the coming months.
'Cord cutting' has become an increasing trend as consumers abandon traditional cable packages with hundreds of channels for smaller, more personalised offerings.
Shares of CBS, Viacom and Fox all rose to session highs following the news. None of the companies involved have confirmed the talks are taking place, and have declined to comment on the reports.