Published on October 22nd, 2017 | by Brad Gibson0
CBS sports online channel launch ‘soon’ with news/talk focus
2018 will be the year of pay-to-view sports streaming channels and services that will invade Apple TV. But if you think all them will be focused on live events – from football to baseball, basketball to hockey – think again. CBS is, well, thinking different.
CBS Interactive president and COO Marc Debevoise told the audience at last week’s Next TV Summit in New York City that unlike ESPN’s upcoming streaming service – which will focus on live sports like soccer, gymnastics, baseball, and hockey that don’t quite fit on their broadcast channels – the new CBS sports streaming service will focus mainly on news and conversation.
“We do believe there is a big play in sports news, and how you get your information about sports in and on these devices, from a brand like ours,” DeBevoise said during a keynote at the Next TV Summit.
He said the streaming service will launch “soon”, but gave no specific time frame or pricing, that is if the channel is expected will be fee-based, which is not clearly known. Debevoise said the channel will have commercials just like CBSN, it’s free news channel that has been available on Apple TV since July of 2016.
DeBevoise gave various indications the channel will be strongly dependent on studio programming similar to Fox Sports 1 and ESPN News.
Other indications of the companies strategy in the new sports channel can come from the current two streaming services already online through Apple TV apps: CBS All Access, as well as CBSN, the live news channel operated by CBS News. Both services are trying to fill the gaps offering unique content the competition doesn’t.
“We have deals with the NFL, the NCAA, FCC football, PGA Tour Golf, lots of different areas,” CBS CEO Les Moonves commented. “In addition, it’s in the very preliminary stages of formation. But CBS is a big player in the sports world. We are going to look to differentiate ourselves from the ESPN and the Fox Sports as well, and we think we have a good opportunity to succeed,” he said.
While CBS All Access is a subscription service offering video on demand of its prime-time over-the-air content, it also is slowly increasing its own original programming. CBSN is targeting millennials and has an average viewer age of 38, the company said, half that of cable news competitors like Fox News.