CBS’ sports streaming service to emphasize news and talk, not live games

CBS
Although CBS will not be offering live games, it still has plenty of sports rights in place which could allow it to show highlights and other video content related to live sports.

CBS recently revealed plans to launch a sports streaming service, and now details are emerging about how the service intends to compete and differentiate from others.

Curiously, CBS is opting to de-emphasize live sports and focus instead on news and talk. CBS Interactive president and COO Marc Debevoise told the audience at the Next TV Summit that CBS feels there’s a “big play” in the sports news and talk market if you can deliver to mobile devices and stand behind a trusted name like CBS.

Debevoise said the service will be launching soon, according to Media Post.

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While CBS seems confident in its strategy around the sports product, shifting the focus away from live sports could put it at a disadvantage in competing with ESPN, which is launching its own sports streaming service next year. ESPN’s service will feature 10,000 live regional, national and international games and events per year from leagues including Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, Grand Slam tennis and college sports.

But CBS’ sports streaming service may have the advantage of coming to market before ESPN’s. Debevoise’s insistence that that service is launching soon seemingly gels with CBS CEO Les Moonves’s announcement that the service will launch later this year.

And though CBS will not be offering live games, it still has plenty of sports rights in place which could allow it to show highlights and other video content related to live sports.

“We have deals with the NFL, the NCAA, FCC football, PGA Tour Golf, lots of different areas. In addition, it's in the very preliminary stages of formation. But CBS is a big player in the sports world. We are going to look to differentiate ourselves from the ESPN and the Fox Sports as well, and we think we have a good opportunity to succeed,” Moonves said.

CBS plans to use the infrastructure it already put in place for CBSN, its news streaming service, in order to get the sports streaming service off the ground in short order.