CBS Corp. stock started the trading week with a dip, and then a bump, as investors appear to be warming to news that the company is launching a 24/7 “over the top” (OTT) video streaming sports network.
The new OTT offering is CBS Sports HQ, and it’s designed to bring news, highlights and analysis from the sporting world to connected devices.
Access does not require a monthly subscription, unlike CBS All Access — the company’s entertainment programming-focused OTT offering.
Why the sports offering was not rolled out as a paid extension of CBS All Access (it is included for users as a free add-on) may be a question some investors are asking. As the clock neared 10:30am Eastern on Monday (2/26), CBS shares were off 20 cents, to $54.92. Just before Noon Eastern, CBS was on the plus side, rising 8 cents to $55.20.
At the Closing Bell, CBS shares were up 56 cents to $55.68.
The new digital network is a collaboration between CBS Sports and the company’s CBS Interactive arm.
And, it appears to be a digital competitor to the many offerings from ESPN, in addition to FOX Sports, beIN SPORTS and other U.S.-based sports news outlets.
“Full-day, live, anchored coverage featuring game breakdowns and the day’s top sports storylines” is its hallmark.
CBS SPORTS HQ also gives CBS Corp. a new video delivery vehicle for content produced by CBS Sports, CBSSports.com, 247Sports, SportsLine, CBS Sports Fantasy and MaxPreps.
What won’t be delivered, which is important for advertisers, metrics and protecting the network’s bottom line with affiliates and its O&Os, is live sports programming.
CBS SPORTS HQ fills in the gaps, if you will, with game previews, post-game analysis, must-see highlights, projections and in-depth statistical breakdowns.
“The digital network also will give viewers the flexibility to control what they watch, with DVR-like functionality that allows them to watch previous segments and jump back into live programming seamlessly,” CBS says.
Speaking ahead of Monday’s Opening Bell on Wall Street, CBS Chairman/CEO Les Moonves called CBS SPORTS HQ “another key step in the evolution” of CBS Corp.
Moonves said, “From CBS All Access to Showtime OTT to CBSN, we are creating best-in-class direct-to-consumer streaming platforms that are positioning us to be leaders in the future of premium content distribution. Thanks to the collaboration of CBS Interactive and CBS Sports, I am confident that CBS SPORTS HQ will become our latest success story in that regard.”
How can one access CBS SPORTS HQ? It’s available on CBSSports.com; the CBS Sports app for key connected TV devices including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku; the CBS Sports mobile app for iOS and Android; CBSN; and the CBS All Access subscription service.