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Posted on: January 25, 2010 10:51 am
 

CBSSports.com has a new home!

After a grueling week of packing and then unloading boxes and moving bins, CBSSports.com has now settled into their new home at 1401 W. Cypress Creek Road in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

CBSSports.com is thrilled with their new office space which houses a state-of-the-art glass video studio, a unique octagon TV wall AKA the “OctoTron“, and best of all, is a LEED-certified building offering increased energy efficiency, decreased water consumption, and enhanced indoor air quality. The office was designed using a hub-and-spoke layout that revolves around the content team and allows the entire Ft. Lauderdale team to work on the same floor for the first time in company history.

With the CBS broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV from South Florida just weeks away, and March Madness and the Masters quickly approaching, the new office space has energized CBSSports.com for a great couple of months.

New home of CBSSports.com:

CBS Interactive
1401 West Cypress Creek Road 
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309  
(954) 689-3100

The CBSSports.com OctoTron

Category: General
Tags: New office
 
Posted on: August 5, 2009 12:28 pm
 

RapidReports a hit with the press

The recent announcement of the creation of RapidReports, CBSSports.com's network of 32 NFL correspondents who will file multiple bite-sized updates per day from each team's practice facility or stadium, received some attention in the press. Here is a sampling:

In USA Today, Sports Media reporter Michael Hiestand quoted CBSSports.com General Manager Jason Kint as saying that with RapidReports, CBSSports.com "won't sacrifice accuracy for speed. The only thing this has in common with social media is the short form. This is the antithesis of Twitter."

In the SportsBusiness Daily, reporter Eric Fisher noted that "The writers for RapidReports will include former K.C. Star and KCChiefs.com reporter Bob Gretz (Chiefs) and former San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Tom Krasovic (Chargers). Editors for the effort include former Tennessean senior editor Alan Whitt and former Richmond Times-Dispatch sports editor Mike Harris. Not surprisingly, the available talent pool was significantly expanded by the ongoing retraction of the American newspaper industry."

In a piece titled "CBSSports.com Floods The Zone With Local NFL Coverage", paidContent.org's Staci D. Kramer notes that "While many news outlets pull back on sports coverage, CBSSports.com is trying to blitz its way into some local love by embedding a reporter with each NFL team. Each of the 32 correspondents is fully credentialed and will cover his or her respective team from training camp through the season—exclusively for CBSSports.com."

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 5, 2009 11:57 am
 

CBSSports.com launches RapidReports

On July 29th, CBSSports.com announced the creation of an innovative new way to cover the NFL. RapidReports is a network of 32 correspondents, one with each NFL team. These reporters will file multiple bite-sized updates per day from each team's practice facility or stadium that will appear at the top of the CBSSports.com homepage.

CBS will be the first media outlet to cover the NFL, or any sport, in this manner, with one embedded reporter attached to every team working solely for one entity. Additionally, the style of coverage, with a constant stream of short, original news updates has never been used in the world of sports and CBSSports.com users and highly engaged NFL fans around the world will undoubtedly embrace this new mode of news delivery.

Click here to read the full press release on RapidReports.

Category: NFL
Tags: RapidReports
 
Posted on: August 5, 2009 11:50 am
 

College Fantasy Football is back on CBSports.com!

CBSSports.com recently launched the 2009 version of its increasingly popular College Fantasy Football game.

The 2009 edition of CBSSports.com's College Fantasy Football will include live scoring, allowing fans of the fastest growing fantasy sports game to follow all the action in real-time.

In addition to free live scoring, the 2009 version of College Fantasy Football will once again use individual player names. While CBSSports.com first launched College Fantasy Football in 2005, last season (2008) was the first year that the product debuted individual player names.

CBSSports.com College Fantasy Football is offered completely free of charge and will allow users to recruit a team of college football players from any of the 120 Division I programs or customize their player pool to include any conference they choose. Users can utilize an improved live draft room to create their team and then embark on a 13 week season, competing head-to-head for their league championship.

Users can create a private group and invite their friends or simply join a public group and play against college football fanatics from around the globe. New for 2009, users can select one conference as their player pool and form a league with six teams or choose at least two conferences for the player pool and create a league consisting of eight or ten teams.

Click here to read the full press release on the College Fantasy Football game.

Posted on: April 17, 2009 4:22 pm
 

CBS Cleans Up on the Sports Fans

 CBS Cleans Up on the Sports Fans

From online streaming of the Masters, NCAA March Madness, and other bonanzas, the TV network is raking in millions

By Ronald Grover and Tom Lowry

April 16, 2009

BusinessWeek.com

What's that again about Old Media being clueless about the digital world? Not when it comes to online streaming of big sports bonanzas, such as golf's just-completed Masters Tournament or the NCAA's March Madness basketball championship tournament. For the 63-game March Madness roundball tournament alone, CBS (CBS) raked in $30 million from such advertisers as AT&T (T), Coca-Cola (KO), and Pontiac (GM) as 7.5 million college basketball fans streamed games on their personal computers, iPhones, and other digital devices.

Better yet, CBS scored big where it matters most, turning a profit that has so far eluded most old-line media's net game. Entertainment sites such as Hulu, a joint venture between NBC (GE) and Fox (NWS), have yet to turn a profit despite huge traffic for its free, advertiser-supported viewing of TV shows. CBS, which paid an estimated $571 million this year to televise the NCAA tournament, says it turned a tidy online profit, although it won't say how much. Ditto for the Masters. "I'd get a wedgie around here if they weren't," says CBS Interactive President Quincy Smith.

The experience at CBS, as well as at Major League Baseball and sports network ESPN (DIS), shows that compelling sports coverage remains a huge draw, regardless of how it is delivered. "Whether it's radio or satellite TV, sports has traditionally driven access to new platforms," says Arash Amel, broadband media analyst at market research firm Screen Digest.

Paying a Pretty Penny

And here's a mind-blowing concept: Users will actually pay for online sports content. "It's live and people are passionate about it," says Robert A. Bowman, CEO of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, which expects to generate $100 million this year from the 300,000 fans-a 15% bump from last season-willing to pay up to $109.95 a year to stream baseball games.

That fanaticism allows sports sites to charge hefty prices, says John Zehr, digital senior vice-president of ESPN (DIS), which streamed more than 3,200 baseball, soccer, and other contests last year. ESPN won't discuss income, but analysts believe the company likely turned a profit from the streams since it had already paid license fees on the sports events.

A big attraction for advertisers: Fans generally want to watch sporting events in real time, rather than storing them on digital video-recording services like TiVo (TIVO). While streaming viewers for other types of content chafe at watching online ads, says Screen Digest's Amel, sports sites can jam them into timeouts with little or no backlash.

And online streaming may come yet to the granddaddy of sports events, the Super Bowl. CBS hopes to entice the NFL to allow it to stream the game in February, when the network has the rights to telecast it from Miami, according to Smith. The NFL hasn't said yes, although it claims a success last year when it jointly streamed 17 games online with NBC as a test. The online streaming, which numbered in the millions, didn't cannibalize TV viewing of the Sunday night games, says Brian Rolapp, the NFL's senior vice-president for media strategy. He says 80% of viewers turned to the streams to complement TV watching, as the Internet version offered four alternative camera angles to supplement NBC's primary picture.

Rolapp says the league hasn't decided whether to stream games again this year, and would be open to discussing CBS's Super Bowl request. Says CBS's Smith: "They may say no. But there's night watchmen out there who can't get to a Super Bowl party."


Other recent press:

4/9 Variety.com: Every stat grows for CBS' March Madness on Demand, but most importantly hours per viewer

4/10 MediaPost: CBS' March Madness Scores Slam Dunk Online

4/10 WebProNews: CBS March Madness Traffic Up 75%

4/10 MultiChannel News: March Madness On Demand Dunks Record Tournament Marks

4/10 WSJ.com: CBS Releases Online March Madness Stats

4/11 Winston-Salem Journal: NCAA Tournament had increased Internet viewing

4/15 WSJ.com: Avoiding the Fantasy Panic Button

 

Posted on: March 27, 2009 8:33 am
 

Demand great for NCAAs

Demand great for NCAAs
March Madness has record viewers
By Michael Vega
Boston Globe-March 27, 2009

March Madness on Demand has posted record-level figures for CBS, surpassing last year's entire tournament numbers.

Last year, March Madness on Demand showed every game from the first round to the Final Four, the only major sporting event broadcast live and in its entirety for free on the Internet. CBS had 4.8 million total unique visitors who consumed 5 million total hours of video and audio.

Last weekend, MMOD had 5.6 million unique visitors and 6.5 million total hours of video and audio.

"There's 130 million people watching every year, so we knew it was a huge opportunity to bring it outside of those people just watching it on television," said Jason Kint, senior vice president and general manager of CBSSports.com.

"Last year was the first big kick. We grew 165 percent in audience and this year we're pacing north of 60 percent. We're thrilled with the numbers, but I wouldn't say that we're totally surprised."

The Internet viewership has not come at the expense of television ratings, which CBS executives said were up 6 percent from a year ago.

"The feeds are terrific, the picture quality is great," vice president of programming Michael Aresco said of the On Demand video player. "And, as far as we can tell, it hasn't really cannibalized the ratings.

"It's generating incremental dollars, because the viewership is so enormous."

CBS, which operates the official athletic sites for 215 universities (including 14 of the Sweet 16 teams), has streamed 12,000-plus events this year, including live Southeastern Conference football and basketball games, which executives claim is four times as many as ESPN.com.

CBS rolled out MMOD in 2003 and drew 25,000 paid subscribers the first three years. It seemed to spike with 1.5 million viewers when the network offered it free of charge in 2007.

"We monetize the heck out of it with $30 million in advertising revenue," Kint said. "We did about $23 million in ad revenue last year and we grew that about 30 percent this year.

"As people see more advertisers gravitating to live events like this, we think fans will become more comfortable watching events in other platforms."


Other recent press:

3/23 MediaWeek: First Four Days of CBS' Live NCAA Online Tops '08

3/23 The Hollywood Reporter: CBS' full-court press drives 'em to Madness

3/23 Chicago Sun-Times: Watching the NCAAs online? These numbers say you are

3/23 Multichannel News: March Madness On Demand Surpasses 2008 Marks

3/23 USA Today: AdTrack: App teams iPhone with NCAA March Madness, CBS

3/22 paidContent.org: March Madness: CBSSports.com Draws 4.8 Million Uniques During First Three Days

3/22 CNBC.com: March Madness Puts CBS Online on the Line

3/20 Broadcasting & Cable: March Madness On Demand Traffic Soars For CBS

3/20 Seattle Times: More people spent more time watching March Madness on the Web Thursday

3/20 All Things Digital: CBS Says No One's Getting Anything Done at Work: March Madness Web Traffic Up 56 Percent

3/20 Multichannel News: Comcast Happy To Back 'Boss Button'

3/20 SportsBusiness Daily: CBS Sports' MMOD Feed Impressive, Likely To Break User Records

3/20 MediaPost: Too Many Games To See? March Is Truly Mad This Year


 

 

Posted on: March 20, 2009 12:54 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2009 1:02 pm
 

CBS' online games are in demand

 CBS' online games are in demand


Neil Best - New York Newsday
March 19, 2009

On Ch. 2 in New York, CBS was busy with the final minutes of the LSU-Butler game Thursday, but at the top of their screens, fans could see there was a huge story developing:

Memphis, Final Four darling of Barack Obama and millions of other bracket-fillers, was life-and-death with Cal State-Northridge.

In the cramped room where executives make the call to move audiences around the nation, they were "tempted'' to make the switch, executive VP Mike Aresco would say later.

But that would have been complex, because moving the Northeast also would have taken with it much of the Midwest and Southeast.

Many viewers were mighty frustrated, unable to see the potential upset unfold, but compared with the past, when such complaints regularly flooded the network, the response was relatively subdued.

That time-honored March tradition has faded as " March Madness on Demand,'' CBS' free online offering of every game, has evolved from something bordering on science fiction to a sports media institution.

"That product continues to exceed any expectations we had when we acquired those rights in 1999,'' CBS Sports president Sean McManus said.

Free, live sports video has boomed ever since MMOD was introduced in those quaint olden times of 2006 - from Amen Corner to the Beijing Olympics.

But it was CBS and the NCAAs that first demonstrated the Internet possibilities of an event contested weekday afternoons and thus able to tap the synergy of sports and goofing off at work.

Not all Web content can support itself only through advertising, as newspapers know too well. But the power of NCAA office pools alone made MMOD an ideal testing ground. (MMOD existed from 2003 to '05, but only as a lightly subscribed fee-based service.)

The "amazing phenomenon,'' as McManus called it, generated $4 million in advertising in 2006, about $10 million in '07 and $23 million last year; it is expected to surpass $30 million in '09.

"In this economy, to see that kind of growth on any product, especially in advertising, is phenomenal,'' McManus said.

Last year, MMOD had 4.8 million unique visitors, up 164 percent from 2007, about 90 percent coming in the workplace, with projections of another 50 percent rise this year.

Jason Kint, general manager of CBSSports.com, said late Thursdayafternoon that based on early traffic, that 50 percent estimate might prove too conservative.

For all of the MMOD cheerleading, though, it wouldn't exist if CBS believed it seriously was eating into the financial stream that still dwarfs all others: games on broadcast TV, ad revenues from which will be 20 times larger than those for the Internet version.

Last year's tournament was the second-lowest-rated ever, barely edging 2003, early in the war with Iraq. But McManus insisted every study has shown there has been no "cannibalizing'' of TV viewers.

"What we've found in all the research we've done is that it just builds interest,'' he said. "We think it actually increases our television viewership as opposed to decreasing it.''

Said Kint: "This is additive, not cannibalistic.''

CBS is able to do all this because it included digital rights in its current contract with the NCAA, which runs through 2013 and cost a still-staggering $6 billion. (The NCAA can open it up after next year's tournament.)

This year the network is offering what it describes as a "high definition-quality'' video option, which Kint said about half of viewers chose on Day One.

Kint said the early returns also indicated one obvious trend from the early-afternoon window. Remember that Memphis scare?

"That game was at least twice as popular as the others,'' he said. "We could see people moving there.''


Other Recent Press:

3/19 - Silicon Alley Insider: March Madness Web Streaming Looks Amazing

3/19 - RedHerring.com: More Sports Madness Online Please

3/19 - SportsBusiness Daily: CBS Sports’ MMOD Provides Clear Picture, User-Friendly Experience

3/19 - The Oklahoman: Web viewing of NCAA games gaining in popularity

3/20 - L.A. Daily News: NCAA Tournament provides another way to phone it in

 

 

Posted on: March 17, 2009 4:40 pm
 

NCAA March Madness on Demand: Don't miss a thing

Don't miss a thing

Dallas Morning News
Friday, March 13, 2009

If only CBS March Madness on Demand was a stock and you had it nestled in your portfolio. You'd probably be feeling a whole lot better about your financial future.

You remember MMOD. It's the nifty invention that allows the amateur bracketologists among us to watch all 63 games of the men's basketball tournament at the Web sites of either CBS Sports or the NCAA.

It is particularly relevant on the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament, when 32 games are played. Coincidentally, those opening-round games will be played next week. Unwilling or unable to get all of those games to a TV set near you, CBS does the next best thing. It makes them all available for free on the Internet.

When last we visited MMOD in advance of the 2008 tournament, Jason Kint, general manager of CBSSports.com, was predicting about 2.1 million folks would stop by to visit. That would have been a healthy 50 percent increase over 2007.

Kint was a little off. MMOD played to 4.8 million fans. That's a 164 percent increase in what they call in the business, unique viewers. This year, Kint has decided to get out of the prediction business, but a 50 percent increase to 7.2 million would not be unrealistic.

Kint was quick to volunteer in a conversation this week that MMOD already has sold $30 million worth of advertising. That's up from $23 million last year and $10 million in 2007.

"Our growth is unique in the current advertising market," Kint said. "The biggest reason for MMOD's growth last year was one-click direct linkage from Internet monsters like MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo.com, ESPN.com and SI .com. They are back. And a slew of others have been added. There are more than 300 sites that will be one click away. Also, iPhones and iPod touches will also supply links to video streaming of the games."

Sean McManus, president of CBS Sports, calls MMOD "a remarkable phenomenon and the most successful online streaming product there is."

Best of all for those who pop online, Kint guarantees a better viewing experience for anyone who already has or is willing to download Microsoft Silverlight. The quality of the video on a computer screen should be three times better than in the past.

Of course, Kint credits demand for the tournament for the boost in his business.

"It is premium content," he said. "It's content that people want and advertisers want to be associated with."


Some other recent press

3/12 MediaPost.com: 3-Pointer: NCAAs, CBS, New iPhone App

3/12 USAToday.com: Watch live NCAA basketball on an iPhone

3/12 U.S. News & World Report: March Madness: More Like March Mildness This Year

3/12 moconews.net: March Madness: CBSSports.com Puts Live NCAA Video, Audio On iPhone For $4.99

3/12 Deadspin.com: March Madness On Your Phone; You're Officially Getting No Work Done This Month

3/12 Chicago Tribune: March Madness iPhone app to show live hoops

3/12 All Things Digital: Hoops To Go: CBS Streaming March Madness to iPhone

3/11 AdAge.com: How CBS Sports Can Use March Madness Success to Grow Online

3/11 paidContent.org: March Madness: CBSSports.com Closing In On $30 Million In Ad Rev

3/10 Contentinople.com: CBS Courts At-Work Audience With March Madness

3/10 Wall Street Journal: A Wider World of Sports, Online

3/10 Media Life Magazine: Ad-wise, the spin on March Madness

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com