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CBS Sports Launches New Streaming Service

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In 2014 CBS launched a 24/7 streaming news service, CBSN. Following the successful model of CBSN, which generated 287 million streams in 2017, CBS Sports has added its own 24-hour sports streaming service, CBS Sports HQ this week.

Like CBSN, CBS Sports HQ is available to consumers for free via online connected devices, including smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku. No cable subscription will be necessary to access the 24/7 sports network which will offer coverage of news and highlights.

“CBS SPORTS HQ is for fans who want more coverage of the game. Sports fans can now get the news and highlights they want in a true, round-the-clock sportscast on any device, where and when they want,” said Jim Lanzone, CEO, CBS Interactive and Chief Digital Officer, CBS Corporation. “As with CBSN, which continues to attract a growing audience of digital consumers, we also think there’s a tremendous advantage in being first to market with this type of service in a crown jewel category.”

The network will utilize CBS Sports, CBSSports.com, 247Sports, SportsLine, CBS Sports Fantasy and MaxPreps to provide live news, game previews, post-game reports, highlights, stats and analysis.

The ability to stream quality 24-hour sports coverage for free with no cable subscription will attract a younger demographic that watches programming online. Paid for through advertising, CBS Sports HQ will include DVR functionality allowing the viewer to jump segments.

ESPN is expected to launch their streaming platform in late March or early April, Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke of the ESPN Plus OTT service at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference as reported by Deadline’s Dade Hayes.

Unlike the new CBS Sports platform, ESPN Plus will not be free, but it will offer live sports content. At $4.99 per month, Iger said “I imagine you’ll see that price rise for the augmented service.”  ESPN Plus will sell out-of-market packages for Major League Baseball and the NHL.

Although neither the CBS Sports service, nor ESPN Plus is designed to threaten TV viewership, Iger sees the future of sports consumption in the ESPN Plus service, stating “Over time, our intention would be for that app to be the app that people experience ESPN on.”

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

ESPN, Omaha Productions Expands Places Franchise into Hockey, College Basketball, Tennis

“PK Subban will host PK’s Places focused on hockey, Sue Bird will host Sue’s Places focused on college basketball, and John McEnroe will host McEnroe’s Places focused on tennis.”

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Peyton’s Places has been one of the great successes in terms of original series on ESPN+. The franchise, which began with Peyton Manning visiting places and people integral to the history of the NFL, has expanded into new sports in recent years. Now, there are spinoffs starring Eli Manning, Abby Wombach, Ronda Rousey, Davíd Ortiz, and Vince Carter.

At Tuesday’s Disney Upfront presentation, the Manning Brothers announced three new additions to the Places family.

PK Subban will host PK’s Places focused on hockey, Sue Bird will host Sue’s Places focused on college basketball, and John McEnroe will host McEnroe’s Places focused on tennis.

“The Places franchise is all about giving fans an inside look at their favorite sport so we are excited to be adding such incredible teammates as the Places Universe continues to expand,” said Peyton. “Sue, P.K. and John will all bring a unique and colorful perspective to their sport’s history as they give viewers a look at some of their favorite places.”

In addition to the new shows, Peyton and Eli are coming back. Peyton’s Places will get a third season. Eli’s Places will get a second season.

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No Timetable For Big Ten To Get TV Deal Done

“Warren told The Athletic that he wasn’t married to a deadline of having a deal to announce by Memorial Day.”

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Negotiations are reportedly continuing between the Big Ten Conference and media partners to complete a new media rights deal, and conference commissioner Kevin Warren isn’t in a hurry to make an announcement.

Warren told The Athletic that he wasn’t married to a deadline of having a deal to announce by Memorial Day.

“I want to make sure we take the appropriate time to get this wrapped up, but we’re making really good progress; that’s the good thing about it,” Warren said. “It’s a great time to be in this space. And there are so many really talented people in this area. But we have a good team. We have a great conference, and so I just really look forward to making sure that these are done in a very thoughtful manner and keep our fans and our student-athletes at the center of our decisions.”

FOX Sports will remain the anchor partner for Big Ten football games, but the conference is working with its other partners like ESPN and CBS for basketball and listening to other potential suitors to add a streaming element.

“The media landscape has changed, and you think (of) the interplay between linear television and streaming,” Warren said. “We just have to really think through what fits for what the Big Ten stands for, what’s in the best interest of our fans, what’s in the best interests of our student-athletes, what’s in the best interest of our member institutions.”

The deal, when finalized, could be worth close to $1 billion and would see a modest increase in money paid out to member schools.

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Kevin Harlan Angry People Thought He Was Insulting Odell Beckham Jr.

“I was furious that I took heat over that, because I wasn’t given a chance to finish what I was going to say because of what the broadcast was doing at the time.”

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Broadcaster Kevin Harlan has a bone to pick with the social media mob. Harlan wants the record set straight after comments made about NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. during a recent NBA Playoffs telecast.

Beckham was spotted by TNT cameras during a recent game in the Dallas Mavericks/Phoenix Suns series when Harlan pointed out that Beckham got injured during this year’s Super Bowl.

“He blew a knee in the Super Bowl on a crossing pattern,” Harlan said in response to his broadcast partner Reggie Miller, who said Harlan needed to give OBJ the correct title of Super Bowl champion.

Reaction on Twitter was outrage, as people believed Harlan was trying to take a swipe at the former Cleveland Browns/Los Angeles Rams wideout.

But Harlan, who called Super Bowl LVI on the radio for Westwood One, said that simply wasn’t the case.

“I know the NFL, I know what it meant to him,” Harlan told USA Today. “And I couldn’t finish it and I got attacked and that’s the kind of world we live in now. And I was furious that I took heat over that, because I wasn’t given a chance to finish what I was going to say because of what the broadcast was doing at the time.

“What I was going to finish saying, but I was unfortunately interrupted was, ‘And look at him walk after blowing that knee, knowing that he was a part of a Super Bowl championship performance,'” he added.

Harlan continued that the timing just didn’t work out. He thinks it’s ridiculous that people would take him out of context.

“I was going to tell a story. I know who he is. I’ve called every year of his career,” he said. “I was just going to try this thing – you just have to be so vigilant, so alert to everything that happens. I was left hanging. I took the brunt of it. I didn’t like it.”

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