& cplSiteName &

CBS Mulls 'March Madness' Cross-Platform Play

Light Reading
LR Cable News Analysis
Light Reading
2/12/2010
50%
50%

While its multiplatform coverage of the Winter Olympics is sure to make NBC Sports the most viewed sports Internet property in February, CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) will take back the spotlight on March 9, when Web surfers gain access to all 63 games from the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament through March Madness On Demand (MMOD).

Its MMOD coverage has been a big draw for broadband users in recent years, delivering 8.6 million total hours of video to 7.52 million unique visitors during the 2009 tourney. (See CBS's March Madness Tally: 8.6M Hours of Video Viewed.)

MMOD, which allows viewers to toggle among up to four live games, is only available on the Web today. But CBSSports.com senior vice president and general manager Jason Kint says the company is exploring ways to deliver an MMOD-type experience to Internet-enabled TVs.

Light Reading Cable talked about everything from March Madness to TV Everywhere in a chat with Kint on Wednesday:

Light Reading Cable: Would you eventually like to replicate the March Madness On Demand experience on cable, offering multiple feeds on TV and adding some interactivity to the mix?

Kint: You certainly could. It seems we’re getting to a point where it’s accelerating in the last year, where TVs become more Internet-friendly. There are a whole range of products that we’re looking at closely.

Light Reading Cable: What does TV Everywhere, and the concept of cable networks and operators authenticating which subscribers should have access to paid content, mean for CBS?

Kint: TV Everywhere and the concept and the way it’s being executed is a good thing. It’s critical that it be as consumer friendly as possible, that it be open and non-exclusive in the way that it works, which is something that rings true with March Madness On Demand. The way we’ve built the product -- we’ve had it open, we’ve made it non-exclusive. We allow folks like Yahoo and ESPN and YouTube to link into it and to be a part of it.

It’s critical that we’re able to measure the audience. It’s certainly critical to us and our advertisers. There has to be a really good way to measure the TV Everywhere audience consistent with the way that we measure TV.

If that’s true, we’re certainly interested in continuing the development there and finding partnerships that recognize the value of CBS content.

Light Reading Cable: We’re seeing more major sports focus on distributing live video on the Web. Will more viewers shift from TV to the Web?

Kint: As the rights agreements come up and there are opportunities to unlock digital distribution, you’re only going to see more and more video available online. It’s hard to compare the trends of digital and TV for too long. Over time, they’re just distribution outlets, and segmenting based on mobile device and laptops on WiFi versus Ethernet hooked up to the back of your television -- it starts to get tricky. You’re going to see more and more people watching live sports, as you have been for many years.

Light Reading Cable: Any new technology to deliver MMOD this year?

Kint: On the March Madness On Demand Player, the one thing that is significant -- we’ll have both Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe Flash as options. Last year was Silverlight, and we had Windows Media Player as an option. This year we’re also offering the Flash option, just recognizing that people will have a preference for technology, and we want to make sure regardless of your preference and your platform that you’re able to enjoy the tournament as easily as possible.

Light Reading Cable: How do think MMOD traffic and ad revenue will compare to last year?

Kint: Ad revenue, the market is looking good. I think we’ll hold specifics until closer to the tournament. It’s a high-quality product and it’s the NCAA Tournament, and it’s live... for video, live video and the demand that goes with it and the excitement that goes with it is significant compared to on-demand.

— Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
John Chambers is still as passionate about business and innovation as he ever was at Cisco, finds Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 6, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Telecom Jargonosaurus Part 1: Repeat Offenders
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/13/2018
Broadcom Buys CA – Huh?
Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading, 7/11/2018
Verizon Taps Malady as Acting CTO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 7/12/2018
FCC's Rosenworcel: US 'Falling Behind' on 5G
Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/13/2018
Netflix Is Growing, but Don't Ask by How Much
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 7/16/2018
Animals with Phones
Casual Tuesday Takes On New Meaning Click Here
When you forget your pants.
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed