As promised last year, CBS today launched its own sports news network, CBS Sports HQ, which will offer 24-hour streaming coverage of news, highlights and analysis for free online, via connected devices, and within the company’s over-the-top streaming service, CBS All Access.
The network had originally said its plan for the sports streaming service was to replicate the success it found with its streaming news network, CBSN, which launched in 2014 to bring CBS news content to digital platforms. That network grew to 287 million streams in 2017, up 17 percent over 2016 – which was an Election year, CBS notes.
Similarly, CBS Sports HQ will stream for free, 24/7, and work across a range of devices at launch, including smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android), connected TVs (Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku), all via the CBS Sports app, as well as online at CBSSports.com/live. The service will also be available to subscribers of CBS All Access, home to CBS programming and original content like “Star Trek: Discovery,” which works across mobile, tablet, web, and TV platforms, too.
The new sports network itself will take advantage of resources CBS already has in place, like CBS Sports, CBSSports.com, 247Sports, SportsLine, CBS Sports Fantasy and MaxPreps. It will combine live news and reporting with game previews, post-game analysis, highlights, projects, and statistical breakdowns, the company says.
In addition, a DVR-like feature will allow viewers to go back and watch previously recorded segments.
The service is meant, in particular, to attract younger viewers who no longer watch traditional television – either because they’ve cancelled their pay TV subscriptions, or because they’ve never signed up in the first place. This demographic tends to watch programming online, through a combination of YouTube, on-demand subscription services like Netflix, or over-the-top live TV services like Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV and others.
CBS today has offerings in both categories, to some extent. With CBS All Access, for example, it provides on-demand programming as well as a live stream of users’ local CBS station. Meanwhile, CBSN offers live, streaming news 24 hours a day.
Both Showtime and CBS All Access hit over 2 million subscribers by year-end, exceeding the company’s forecast goals. CBS expects those will reach 8 million subscribers by 2020.
“CBS Sports HQ is another key step in the evolution of the CBS Corporation,” said Leslie Moonves, CBS Chairman and CEO, in a statement about the launch. “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.”