What we know about CBS’s upcoming streaming service for sports

TechCrunch | 8/8/2017 | Sarah Perez
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Cord cutters have another reason to get excited, as CBS this week announced it’s planning to launch a live streaming service for sports. The news was discussed on the company’s Q2 earnings call, and though details are light – there’s no name, pricing, or exact launch date at this time, for example – the service could potentially go a long way to fill a gap that’s not currently well-covered by live TV streaming services and on-demand subscription video.

According to the company, the idea to do a live streaming channel for sports was influenced by the network’s earlier digital success with its streaming news network, CBSN. First launched in 2014, CBSN was designed to increase the distribution of CBS’s news content to digital platforms. CBS more recently announced CBSN content, including its live news and original reporting, would become a part of CBS’s over-the-top streaming service, CBS All Access.

Goal - CBSN - Model - World - Sports

The goal now is to replicate the CBSN model, but for the world of sports.

“Later this year, we will roll out a 24/7 live streaming channel like CBSN for sports as part of our ongoing [over-the-top] strategy,” said CBS CEO Les Moonves, on the company’s earnings call, adding that the service did not yet have a name. “We think sports fans are looking for something like this, and that opportunity is significant,” he noted.

Company - Sports - Viewers - Television - Cable

The company has already benefitted by bringing sports programming to over-the-top viewers who no longer subscribe to traditional television, like cable or satellite TV.

CBS All Access also wasn’t able to stream NFL games on mobile, because of Verizon’s [disclosure: TechCrunch’s parent AOL’s owner] NFL deal.

CBS - Announcement - NFL - Games - Sign-ups

That said, CBS said that its announcement of streaming NFL games boosted weekly sign-ups, on average, by 75 percent, when compared with the weeks before the news of the deal was made public. That indicates there’s...
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