Streaming College Football Online, Mobile; Silverlight Tryout For March Madness?


A heavy Saturday coming up for, including streaming the Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship between unbeaten Alabama and would-be giant-killer Florida. (Alabama is ranked #1 across the polls; Florida is ranked #2 by AP.) The game (4 p.m., ET) is the culmination of the network’s first season of a new deal with the SEC that allows full live streaming online and on CBS (NYSE: CBS) Sports Mobile for those with access to MediaFlo. AT&T (NYSE: T) is sponsoring the webcast, which CBS is pitching as “the biggest football game ever broadcast simultaneously on TV, the Internet and mobile.” Of course, mega-fans will be watching on mega-screens and it’s a weekend, traditionally lower in traffic for digital media, so the biggest game may not add up to a lot when it comes to online and mobile viewing.

That’s the marquee match but Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is a sidelines player in another game Saturday — it’s sponsoring a live webcast of the 109th Army-Navy football classic (noon ET). The sponsorship includes producing the game with its Silverlight video platform. It’s the first time has used Silverlight for a free football game but the Microsoft video player is used for the CBS College Sports Network subscription package. Is it a one off or a tryout for something bigger when it comes to live streaming? Given the recent high-profile loss of Major League Baseball Advanced Media to Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) Flash, Microsoft could use the boost of providing the player for March Madness on Demand.


Stewart Palski

CBS Sports is behind the curve in the live streaming department, but they should look at their own properties for direction, which it looks like they are doing now. CBS College streams about 5000 (video) events annually live, and have been using Silverlight since September.

Christopher Levy

You have to start somewhere. I think ESPN has quite a few more rights to Games than CBS does so I doubt they could produce a similar product due to legal barriers not technical ones.

Bryan Bennett

Nice effort by CBS, but they have a long way to go to catch the experience that ESPN360 delivers. Show the games I can't get locally on TV…that's the big win with streaming sports.

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