CBS has announced that it will be live streaming next-year’s Super Bowl for free, along with two more regular-season NFL games. The games will be available via CBSSports.com, in addition to a wide range of OTT devices including Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, and Chromecast. Moreover, the live streams will be free to watch, with no cable authentication required, which makes perfect sense given the broadcaster’s plan to bundle national Super Bowl ad spots with its corresponding streaming ad units, as making the livestreams more accessible would no doubt help CBS upsell those bundled ad units.
What Brands Should Do
As time-shifted viewing continues to erode live viewerships, big sport events has long been the last bastion that still consistently post huge ratings. As more and more people choose to cut the cord, media owners need to realize the importance of making content accessible on streaming platforms that audience has migrated to. CBS says it is trying to “experiment and gauge what the audience appetite is for live sports on digital platforms” with the aforementioned new initiatives, and the same holds true for all brands that seek to reach their audience with branded content.