SBJ/20081117/This Week's News

CBS College Sports expands to 29M homes

CBS College Sports will see its distribution increase to 29 million homes, thanks to carriage deals with Comcast, Bright House and Verizon.

The deals, which will be announced this week, represent an additional 4 million subscribers.

By comparison, CBS College’s biggest competitor, ESPNU, is in about 28 million homes.

The Comcast deal will see the channel launch on the digital classic tier in Atlanta, and be upgraded to the digital classic tier in Minneapolis and Boston. The moves will happen before the end of the year.

The Comcast deal, which represents 2 million homes, came about in part after CBS agreed to share weekend coverage of up to 12 PGA Tour events with the Comcast-owned Golf Channel (see SportsBusiness Journal, Oct. 13-19). Golf Channel will show morning coverage for events that air on CBS later in the day.

Bright House Networks upgraded CBS College’s carriage in Central Florida and Tampa to digital basic earlier this month.

Verizon will launch the channel and its high-definition feed on the FiOS sports package within the next two weeks.

In other distribution news, The Ski Channel plans to launch Dec. 25 to 15 million homes, thanks to deals with DirecTV, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Bright House.

The Ski Channel is not a linear network. Rather, it provides video-on-demand programming to cable and satellite subscribers.

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