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CBS launches new OTT sports service

US network CBS has launched its new OTT sports service, CBS Sports HQ, stating it is seeking to take advantage of being the first to the market with such a product.

Plans for the new platform were first disclosed in August, but it launched yesterday (Monday). The new digital network is a collaboration between CBS Sports and CBS Interactive and allows sports fans to watch full-day, live, anchored coverage featuring game analysis and the day’s top sports storylines.

CBS Sports HQ will harness the combined resources of CBS Sports, CBSSports.com, 247Sports, SportsLine, CBS Sports Fantasy and MaxPreps to deliver live news and reporting, game previews, post-game analysis, highlights, projections and in-depth statistical breakdowns.

The digital network also will offer DVR-like functionality that allows viewers to watch previous segments and jump back into live programming.

“CBS Sports HQ is another key step in the evolution of the CBS Corporation,” Leslie Moonves, chairman and chief executive of CBS, said. “From CBS All Access to Showtime OTT to CBSN, we are creating best-in-class direct-to-consumer streaming platforms that are positioning us to be leaders in the future of premium content distribution.”

At launch, CBS Sports HQ is available on CBSSports.com; the CBS Sports app for key connected television devices including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku; the CBS Sports mobile app for iOS and Android; CBSN; and the CBS All Access subscription service.

CBS Sports HQ is replicating the corporation’s model used to launch CBSN, the 24/7 streaming news service from CBS News and CBS Interactive. Since launching in November 2014, CBSN has grown viewership significantly, drawing 287 million streams in 2017, an increase of 17 per cent compared to the 2016 US election year.

Monday’s launch also comes amid the impending debut of ESPN Plus, the new OTT service being launched by sports broadcaster ESPN.

Jim Lanzone, chief executive of CBS Interactive and chief digital officer of CBS, said: “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 launch of CBS Sports HQ has been timed to coincide with the network’s coverage of college basketball tournament March Madness and US golf major The Masters.