CBS, the longtime exclusive broadcaster of the NCAA hoops tournament, said it will be nearly doubling the number of simultaneous supported online video streams this year to 300,000 at any given moment. The streams will be free, first-come-first-serve, and purportedly of higher quality than last year. (Three cheers for the IT guys!) But don’t think CBS is doing this entirely out of public spirit. Among the other juicy details in Seth Sutel’s AP feature, CBS is looking to perhaps double the $4 million in online ad revenue it reeled in last year. But the best part:
Borrowing a trick from computer games, CBS will offer a “Boss” button on the player that viewers can hit if they see their supervisor coming, which causes a fake spreadsheet to pop up and silences the audio feed.
That’s right, CBS is earning revenue by knowingly advertising to people at work. For shame! Just check out the display of clearly recognizable logos on CBS’ Sportsline NCAA front page. That Dodge Ram logo is rather forward in its attempts to mingle with sweet, pure content.
A potentially unintended consequence is the bargain for people who buy courtside advertising and sponsorship declarations by the announcers, since we’re like free viewers! But for for major national network to be so, how shall I say, cavalier about it all is rather refreshing. Kind of like wagging your tongue at the center after a 360 slam. That said, Go Huskies!