CBS’ streaming sports video service will launch “soon,” according to CBS Interactive president and COO Marc Debevoise.
DeBevoise elaborated on the service -- which was first announced by CBS CEO Les Moonves in August -- during a keynote conversation at the Next TV Summit in New York Wednesday.
Unlike ESPN’s upcoming streaming service -- which will focus on sports that don’t quite fit on the linear channel -- the new CBS service will emphasize sports news and talk instead of live games.
believe there is a big play in sports news, and how you get your information about sports in and on these devices, from a brand like ours,” DeBevoise said.
CBS currently has two large streaming services: CBS All Access, which airs linear CBS content as well as original entertainment programming, as well as CBSN, which is a live news channel operated by CBS News.
Just as CBSN gave CBS a competitor to CNN and MSNBC, the new service sounds as if it's meant to take on the studio programming at Fox Sports 1 and ESPN. CBSN is advertising-supported, as will be the new sports service.
DeBevoise said that for CBSN, 70-75% of the audience are millennials, and the average age of viewers is 38, half that of cable news competitors like Fox News. The average age of the CBS All Access viewer is 43.
CBS All Access has been ramping up its original programming efforts, most notably with the original series “Star Trek: Discovery” which launched last month.
DeBevoise said that All Access views itself as a premium basic cable channel, rather than an ad-free service like HBO or Netflix, or a general interest network like CBS.
“We are going into this premium space, but we have advertising, so we think of it as really not all the way into the HBO or Showtimes of the world, but to premium basic cable, the AMCs and FXs of the world. We are in that sort of zone for advertisers,” DeBevoise said.
CBS All Access’ next original series pushes it even further from its broadcast network roots. The comedy series “No Activity” comes from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Funny Or Die productions, and will test the limit in terms of content on the service.
“I am actually dealing with Standards this week to determine how many F-bombs you can put in an episode before an advertiser gets pissed, but that’s OK,” DeBevoise joked.