CBS Launches 24/7 Digital Channel Sports HQ
The streaming service will feature live sports news and highlights but not live games.
CBS wants to do with sports what it has already done with news.
The broadcaster on Monday launched CBS Sports HQ as a 24/7 digital channel serving up news and highlights in the same vein as its three-year-old CBSN news network.
Sports HQ, a collaboration between CBS Sports and CBS Interactive, will feature live programming throughout the day, including pregame analysis, postgame recaps, breaking news, statistical breakdowns and more. It will not offer live sports. For that, viewers will need to turn on their televisions and watch CBS, which airs NFL games, the PGA Tour and the March Madness tournament every year.
"It gets back to the foundational needs of sports fans, delivering news, highlights and analysis 24 hours a day," says CBS Interactive CEO Jim Lanzone. "It really is for the sports purist who wants to be informed or to have sports on all day with coverage of the actual games and the teams and the players."
Lanzone notes that the reporting on Sports HQ will be fueled by CBS' existing portfolio of sports assets, including CBS Sports, CBSSports.com, 247Sports and SportsLine. The CBS Sports website, with its 60 million users a month, is the second online sports property behind ESPN.
Among the anchors that CBS has tapped for Sports HQ are Jorge Andres, who joined CBS Sports Digital in 2016; Raja Bell, who hosts basketball podcast Off the Bench; Jim Bowden, who will serve as a baseball analyst and fantasy baseball expert; Jenny Dell, who joined CBS Sports as an NFL sideline reporter in 2014; and The NFL Today's NFL insider Jason La Canfora.
At launch, Sports HQ will be available online, via CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports connected TV app; through CBSN; and as a tab on CBS All Access.
The service, which comes ahead of the launch of the ESPN Plus streaming service for live competition and days after Fox News announced its own over-the-top product, adds to CBS' growing portfolio of streaming products. CBS launched CBSN as a 24/7 news product in 2014 and has grown it to 287 million streams in 2017.
"CBS Sports HQ is another key step in the evolution of the CBS Corp.," said Leslie Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS, in a statement. "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. Thanks to the collaboration of CBS Interactive and CBS Sports, I am confident that CBS Sports HQ will become our latest success story in that regard."