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Sports & Fitness

Scoring Big With DR

1 Jan, 2009 By: Doug McPherson Response


CBS Gets a First Down


During the 2008 college football season, for the first time ever CBS streamed all 17 of its SEC game broadcasts on free of charge.

And while CBS admits the Internet version is simply a simulcast of the football games on TV with same exact ads, on the basketball side of things, they're going interactive with their ads on the Internet.

Last spring, when CBS aired March Madness on Demand — showing the NCAA men's Division I basketball tournament online, the TV and online ads differed. "Some of those were interactive banners viewers could click on to get more information," says Riethmiller, the CBS Sports spokesperson.

Riethmiller says March Madness on Demand used to be a subscription product, but in 2007 it became free, and ad sales went through the roof. He says in 2006, CBS sold $4 million in ads for tournament. In 2007, that number jumped to $10 million, and in 2008 it soared $23 million in advertising.

CBS reports that when fans view football games on the Internet, they spend an average of 70 minutes in front of the screen. "We were pleasantly surprised," he says. "Some fans are basically watching the whole game on the Internet."

Riethmiller says he expects CBS will likely add interactive ads to college football games shown on CBS Sports just renewed its contract with the SEC to broadcast its football and basketball games for 15 years. In addition to broadcast rights, the deal includes digital, Internet, wireless, video-on-demand (VOD) and enhanced highlight rights across all CBS Sports properties.

Also in 2008, CBS announced the creation of CBS College Sports Media, an interactive vertical advertising network that includes, and 215 other college sports Web sites. "This is basically a new vehicle to create ad packages for those wanting to reach the college audience," Riethmiller says.

The new network offers display and video advertising on multiple platforms. Content features video, news, scores, analysis, blogs, podcasts and photo galleries. CBS reports the network reached more than 10 million unique visitors and 1.5 billion impressions last March.

"Sports fans are a key audience for advertisers. They have been for a long time, and we don't see that changing," Riethmiller says.

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