CBS Brings More Video to SportsLine

CBS Digital Media has revamped its CBS SportsLine.com site to more closely integrate video content from its television properties, providing more broadband content and video advertising opportunities on its site.

Beginning today, CBS SportsLine will feature on its front page what it calls “TheEyebox,” a video window that plays on-demand clips. The added online video content gives CBS more opportunities to sell 15-second, pre-roll video ads, which advertisers have been clamoring for, said Larry Kramer, president of CBS Digital Media. The site will also be adding other rich media ad units in the near future, he said.

Nike has signed on as an exclusive sponsor of site at launch. Other advertisers include BlackBerry, Visa, Volkswagen, Geico, Subway, CDW and UPS.

As it did with CBSNews.com in July, CBS has taken what Kramer calls a “cable bypass” strategy, expanding CBS SportsLine.com with shared and custom-produced on-demand video content from CBS Sports.

“This is the second phase of our plan to re-launch all of our Web sites as broadband channels,” Kramer said on a conference call Thursday afternoon. “We’re going to use this as a home-base for shows and programming we haven’t been able to do before.”

CBS SportsLine has added a new studio in its Ft. Lauderdale headquarters to produce new shows, including an NFL highlights show, post-game analysis, and college football highlights show. It will also produce original video to complement its popular fantasy football games.

This content will be supplemented by footage from CBS Sports’ TV operations, both video shot specifically for the Web using CBS Sports talent, and excess footage that was edited out of TV broadcasts. Many of the original CBS SportsLine shows will be available to users via podcast.

The site will also add user-generated content in the form of blogs that provide color commentary on sporting events as they are taking place. CBS has dubbed these live game logs “glogs.” The site will also add nearly 100 contributors to provide more regional sports coverage.

Kramer said the initiative was not meant to compete with cable channels like ESPN, but with other Web sites. He pointed out that advertisers on CBS SportsLine can reach users at work during the day better than cable can.

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