CBS Sports plans 30 hours of livestreamed content for Super Bowl week
- CBS Sports HQ, the free sports streaming network available on digital platforms, will air more than 30 hours of live, original programming during the week of Super Bowl LIII, including daily shows from Radio Row starting Jan. 28, on-site daily reports, 10 hours of original pregame coverage on game day and post-game analysis and highlights, a press release announced.
- Programming will include "Off The Bench with Kanell and Bell," Pick 6 Rundown, Reiter's Block and CBS Sports HQ Extravaganza, a Super Bowl pregame show featuring a competition involving CBS Sports Digital talent and current and former players every hour before kickoff.
- The network says it will stream this year's Super Bowl across more platforms than ever before. Streaming will be available online and through the app for connected TV devices, tablets and mobile phones, as well as via the CBS All Access subscription service.
CBS Sports running more than 30 hours of digital programming during the week before Super Bowl Sunday underscores how TV networks are investing more in their digital offerings to reach fans on their preferred platforms and devices. Increasingly, that preference is shifting toward digital and mobile TV alternatives, as sports fans often explore sports-related content like highlights and interviews during, or instead of watching, live games.
Enhancing its streaming offerings, including showing the full game alongside other original programming, comes as CBS is seeing healthy ad sales around the big game. The network reported having limited ad inventory still available over the weekend, but has been unusually quiet about its ad sales around the Super Bowl since the departure of former chairman and CEO Les Moonves, who was known for flaunting CBS' Super Bowl ad numbers. Thirty-second spots are reportedly going for around $5 million this year, similar to what NBC received last year.
CBS seems to be building on the momentum of the popularity of streaming during the NFL regular season. The league expanded access to games on digital platforms this season, and saw a 65% jump in digital viewership of games as of week four, compared to 2017. The average minute audience was 326,000 viewers per game window across different platforms.
CBS didn't specify how or if it would be working with specific advertisers on the digital streaming programming. Digital video is growing more attractive to marketers, as it enables them to better target their messaging to key audiences. Video ad spending is projected to grow from $91 billion in 2018 to $103 billion by 2023, with the share of video ad spending increasing from 21% to 34% over the same time period, Forrester forecasts. Online video viewers will exceed 200 million in 2018, while TV audiences will reach 258 million. However, just 53% of marketers said they plan to buy TV and digital video ad spots together, and only 40% purchase bundles from multichannel providers, per an Advertiser Perceptions' 2018 report.