Blog Post

CBS Sports Streams SEC Games Free Online; Charges For Mobile

Earlier this year, *CBS* Sports tested the mobile live video market with a $4.99 iPhone/iTouch app for March Madness, streaming all 63 games of the famed men’s college basketball tourney. It must have gone well, despite being limited to Wi-Fi access. CBS (NYSE: CBS) won’t release download stats but it is releasing a new app at twice the price for less video (albeit, important video if you happen to follow the Southeastern Conference): CBS Sports: College for iPhone and iTouch, developed with MobiTV, runs $9.99.

The app, available today, includes live streaming video of all SEC football games carried on CBS and “select” basketball games; 14 football games, including the SEC championship, are left this season. CBSSports.com is streaming all 15 of the network’s SEC football games free; that started last Saturday, which is when the text for the app suggests it was supposed to be live.

Beyond video, the app promises in-game box scores and stats, with overlay options (pictured here), with a college football scoreboard, game centers for each of the week’s top 25 games, polls, news headlines and standings. This time, unlike March Madness, video streaming is allowed on 3G.I hope that bodes well for MMOD 2010: because of that limit, I wound up watching some of the games through the CBSSports.com on an HTC Tilt with the Skyfire browser, while my iPhone-toting partner was frozen out when out of Wi-Fi range.

It isn’t a lot of money for the SEC fan who’s stuck somewhere sans TV or laptop. MobiTV also has the Notre Dame Central app in partnership with NBC Sports. Are there a lot of those willing to pay it? As long as the costs are low — and they should be, given that it piggybacks on CBS Sports coverage for video that’s already being encoded multiple ways and makes use of stats and other features already being produced by CBSSports.com — niche products like this can be the ultimate in incremental revenue. The name of the app suggests CBSSports.com doesn’t plan to stop at one conference.