CBS Looks To Put Superbowl Online; Recognizes Online Doesn't Cannibalize TV Viewing

from the about-time dept

CBS has certainly taken a much more enlightened view to online content than NBC. While it's true that NBC is seeing a lot of success with Hulu, the company resisted online efforts for years, and has always resisted the idea of allowing people to watch content as they want to. Instead, the company has focused on limiting how, where and when you can watch its content. CBS, on the other hand, was an early believer in focusing less on control and more on just getting your content out there. For an example of this contrast, look at how the two networks are dealing with big sporting events.

As recently discussed, NBC is working hard to make it as difficult as possible for you to watch the Olympics online, even when its own experience showed that online viewers didn't cannibalize TV viewers -- in fact the opposite happened. People who watched online watched more TV. So why are they trying to make it so hard to watch online?

Meanwhile, CBS, which had tremendous success webcasting the NCAA's March Madness basketball tournament is now working to see if it can get the permission to broadcast the Super Bowl online as well (thanks to MattP for sending this in), knowing that it will likely bring in a larger audience, and increase the opportunities for everyone.
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Filed Under: super bowl, webcast
Companies: cbs, nbc universal


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  1. identicon
    Ben Matthews, 20 Apr 2009 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: NBC is getting a bad rap

    Isn't bad for whom, exactly? Because when I want to watch something online and cannot I consider that bad. Since it's my eyeballs they want watching their ads, making it harder for me to look at them seems like it will be bad for them, too.

    Sometimes it's simply part of the value creation model they have setup. Perhaps they want to provide ads in a certain way that their advertisers demanded. By doing this they are able to do things in a far more nonintrusive way without sacrificing revenue. Perhaps they had a hard policy of never putting ads over the games (which I would appreciate), which means if they were to make the ads embeddable they would have to remove advertising altogether, which provides other potentially dangerous legal hazards. There are dozens of scenarios in which more value is provided to everyone if distribution is controlled. There are so many factors, determined by so many parties that come into these decisions other than a simple question "Should we give this stuff away or not?"

    I really hate to be the one to tell you this, but NBC gives its stuff away for free over the air. In HD. So, they too, believe that "Free to everyone = better". I mean, as long as it's not via a web page-- that would totally ruin them, it seems. Enlighten me on this one, please.

    They are not giving it away for "Free", like you said they want your eyeballs looking at ads. Thats just one single distrubution channel that NBC is happy to show with advertising interuptions. Their web platform had very few interuptions, if any for some games, and would be considered more "free" than the example you site as proof they think "Free = better". I am still not sure what you are wanting me to enlighten you on here. My point is, it simply isn't always the case that free distribution all around is better for everyone, in my opinion.

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