CBS Sports SecondsThat Game Day Emotion - Broadcasting & Cable

CBS Sports SecondsThat Game Day Emotion

An app to complement the telecast is now seen as sound business strategy
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It has only been a year since NBC became the first broadcast network to stream a Super Bowl (not to mention the Olympics, with great success), but in many ways, the idea of streaming the biggest sporting event of the year online has come a long way since then, both as a business strategy and a technology.

Last year, there were some concerns in the press that making the Super Bowl available online would cannibalize TV viewing. Record TV ratings, however, put those worries to rest and this year, CBS has firmly approached its streaming efforts as a complement, or second-screen enhancement, of the telecast.

“We know that the Super Bowl is appointment viewing,” says Jason Kint, senior VP and general manager of CBS Interactive’s sports division. “For the most part, everyone finds a way to be in front of the big screen, and the center of attention is that beautiful flat screen experience. So from that, we focused on how we could build the ultimate companion second-screen experience [that would incorporate] all the things that people want to do while they are watching the game together with people in the room and with people across the Web.”

As a result, many of the most notable features of the stream and coverage on CBSsports.com are designed to augment TV viewing, with social media feeds, stats, expert commentary, DVR features for replays, a gallery where commercials can be viewed right after they air and four additional camera angles to accompany the broadcast feeds.

For the first time, one of these camera angles will be determined by polls and the producers, bringing a new level of interactivity into the coverage, Kint notes.

In addition, the network will also be streaming the halftime show for the first time. In another sign of the growing maturity of efforts to stream big events such as the Super Bowl, the second-screen efforts will also be more closely tied in with advertising.

Like last year, CBS has sold the online stream separately from the broadcast feed, but many of the same broadcasters are on platforms. As of presstime, Kint says it is too early to reveal details of specific campaigns but adds, “The advertisers that are involved in both online and TV are thinking about social media and how the second-screen gets tied to the TV in ways that I haven’t seen before.”

E-mail comments to gpwin@oregoncoast.com and follow him on Twitter: @GeorgeWinslow

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