While Viacom Sues, CBS Cuts Another YouTube Deal, This Time For March Madness

Sumner Redstone has it both ways with Google-YouTube … two days after Viacom sued the company and its subsidiary, CBS announced another deal with YouTube NCAA tourney channel. Redstone, of course, is chairman of both companies. The attitudes of the two companies toward Google diverged even before the official split and, soon after, CBS was a launch partner for the Google Video marketplace and also has found ways to work with YouTube.
Google and CBS have yet to strike a comprehensive deal and efforts to match radio inventory with Google’s interest in radio sales didn’t pan out. Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, worked with Google in his investment-banking life and his good relationships there may part of the reasons for an attitude that continues to differ from Viacom post-Google acquisition.
— Announced within hours of the first top-off in the men’s basketball tournament, the CBS Sports NCAA Tournament Channel is sponsored by Pontiac and launches today in conjunction with the start of March Madness. The channel includes many of the usual YouTube elements — comments, rating, RSS etc. — but is missing a major one: embedding has been disabled. Programming will include near real-time uploads of highlights and game clips from CSTV.
Update: Had the chance to chat with Quincy Smith about this … it wasn’t his day for big-picture talk like why CBS and YouTube get along better than Viacom and YouTube. He does say “there’s no better online audience than You Tube for video watching.”
Smith would rather talk about the various ways CBS is making money from the same set of rights — TV, radio, its own sites CBSSportsline.com and CSTV.com, live online coverage on MMOD, and the YouTube channel — and how it’s working with cross-platform advertisers like Pontiac. These are still early days for online money, though. Smith: “Point of sale versus brand building online. This is a pretty good piece of evidence that suggests advertisers are now thinking it’s the real deal.” With more and more people online, he adds, “it’s only a matter of time before the brands show up.”
WSJ: Speaking of brands online, the Journal has a good look at how advertisers are going beyond the main sites for attention — specifically by going directly to official school sites, adding a local approach to the broader national advertising. CBS college network CSTV with 250 college sites and Florida-based XOS Technologies with 100, 14 in the tournament — offer the easiest ways in. The theory — and it makes a lot of sense — is fans go to their school site first. Pontiac augmented its other CBS spending with buys on 50 CSTV sites with localized ads.
— By working with XOS to add video and audio, Creighton expects to make $60,000 or so in online advertising next season, a substantial addition to its usual $800,000 ad revenue.


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