Blog Post

CBS: Live Sports Online is “Additive”

Time to eat crow. My Crimson Tide lost to the Florida Gators over the weekend. While it was a heartbreaker, the enormity of this game gave me the opportunity to contact Jason Kint, senior vice president and general manager at, to see how well it performed online.

CBS (s cbs) remains tight-lipped about exactly how many people tuned in to watch the game online on Saturday. Kint said that the number was small, but for a big game like the SEC Championship, which was going to be on television, CBS doesn’t need them to be big. “It’s not cannibalistic, it’s additive,” Kint said. “Most people are going to watch it on TV, and the online audience then is entirely additive. SEC Championship is a small number, but it’s incremental.”

While the number of people who logged on may not have been huge, the time they spent online was (at least in terms of other online video). According to Kint, the average time spent per viewer watching the Alabama vs. Florida game was “north of 60 minutes.”

Over the past year CBS has put marquee live sporting events like March Madness, the U.S. Open tennis finals and the SEC championship online. CBS has learned that to get an “off the chart” number of online viewers, the event needs to have multiple games going on that can’t be shown solely on one network, or the event has to be played during traditional work hours. This makes sense, as people will gravitate to the largest screen available for sporting events.

Next year, CBS will also expand the functionality it implemented for March Madness and let people embed live video from other sporting events onto their own pages, Kint said.

7 Responses to “CBS: Live Sports Online is “Additive””

  1. According to Kint, the average time spent per viewer watching the Alabama vs. Florida game was ‘north of 60 minutes.’”

    I didn’t know CBS showed “60 Minutes” online too. Still doesn’t tell us how long the average user watched the game online though.

  2. Chris Albrecht

    @Bryan and phoneranger,

    Are either of you on Firefox on a Mac? I had some initial issues logging on at first and asked CBS about that. Evidently they had some problems with the Mac/Firefox combo since the video was played using Windows Media.

    Here’s hoping they upgrade to Flash or Silverlight for the next one.

  3. Ditto with Bryan. I had no luck getting the video on my (albeit Vista) machine. I kept getting the message that I needed a newer version of WM Player but I already had the highest level.

    If CBS wants to build incremental audiences they should put up a 24-7 streaming channel (competing with ESPN?!). Besides capturing a few CPMs, this would allow potential users to play with the settings on their computers BEFORE the big event.

    And they should put the streams on mobile devices as well.

    And they shd stream whatever 3rd-level Bowl game that Iowa gets into this year.

  4. I tried the streaming of the game a couple of times on Sat as my wife kept changing the channel to some godforsaken Lifetime movie. Whatever the case, it was not a pleasant experience. The picture cut out every couple of minutes and I’m positive it was not my broadband connection. Back to the drawing board for CBS streaming capabilities.