CBS is gearing up to launch a streaming sports channel, but it will only be made available through TV services that provide live television channels over the Internet. The channel will be launched later on 2017, and though we don’t yet know what this channel will be called, we do know it’ll distinguish itself from competing sports offerings like Fox Sports and ESPN. The streaming channel will be modeled after the company’s existing CBSN infrastructure, as well.
News of the planned streaming sports channel was revealed by CBS CEO Les Moonves during the company’s Q2 earnings call yesterday. Online streaming television has proven popular for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the immediate access, lack of contracts, and lack of rented hardware that has to be returned later on. Online streaming services also, in some cases, allow subscribers to watch content on their mobile device when they’re away from home, though some services have restrictions on where live programming can be streamed.
CBS is no stranger to online streaming. The company previously launched CBS All Access, which gives anyone who signs up access to the company’s massive catalog of videos, as well as its latest seasons of current shows. The service, like others, offers on-demand access to content, but live streaming Internet channels have become increasingly popular. In the case of this upcoming channel, those with a supported Internet TV package will be able to watch sports live through their Internet.
Speaking about its CBS All Access product, the company revealed yesterday that it anticipates having four million subscribers between it and its Showtime product by the end of 2017. The company also revealed that it’ll be expanding All Access into some international markets, though which ones aren’t clear. We do know the on-demand video service will be launching in Canada next year.
As for the streaming sports channel, CBS didn’t go into details about which sports will be featured on this channel, nor is it clear whether this channel will be bundled with some providers’ existing packages or will be offered as an add-on. DirecTV NOW just announced an agreement with CBS Networks yesterday that brought local CBS channels, Showtime, and The CW to its own streaming product.
SOURCE: Broadcasting Cable