NFL on CBS production. (Credit: John P. Filo/CBS)

CBS to Launch Streaming Over-the-Top Sports Net

Mayweather-McGregor fight to go direct to consumer

CBS plans to launch a new streaming sports channel later this year.

Speaking on the company’s second quarter earnings call Monday, CBS CEO Les Moonves said the new, as-yet unnamed channel is modeled on CBSN, the company’s streaming news service, which is now becoming available as a channel on skinny programming bundles being offered by virtual MVPDs.

Moonves said CBS already has an online sports group in Fort Lauderdale and will be able to use the infrasture in place for CBSN to keep cost down and create a path for profit in a relatively short period of time.

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He added that CBS is a big player in sporrt and that the channel will look to differentiate itself from ESPN and Fox Sports.

On the call, Moonves also said that Showtime’s coverage of the fight between boxing champ Floyd Mayweather and MMA star Conor McGregor will be available via over the top streaming direct to consumers.

Consumers who buy the fight will also get a free trial subscription to Showtime’s streaming service, boosting sampling for that product.

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CBS said that it expected its over-the-top streaming services, Showtime and CBS All Access, would have a combined 4 million subscribers by the end of the year.

The company also said that CBS would be taking CBS All Access into international markets starting with Canada in 2018.

Mooves said that CBS has noticed the fast growth of other streaming services in international market and was looking to cash in on the popularity of CBS’s programing worldwide.