Berson Pleased With CBSSN Progress This Year, Applauds FS1 For Aggressive Strategy
CBSSN since rebranding from CBS College Sports in '11 has remained "on sports tiers, airs niche sports like Arena Football, Professional Bull Riding and MLL Lacrosse, and is seen in less than 50 million homes," according to Ken Fang of AWFUL ANNOUNCING. There also is a "perception of CBS sitting on the sidelines while ESPN, Fox and NBC battle it out for major sports properties." But CBS Sports President David Berson said execs are "very pleased" with the progress this year for CBSSN. Berson noted since changing the name, the channel's distribution has "increased by 20-25%." Berson said, "We haven't gone and spent a billion dollars on any one property or anything like that, but we are making significant strides to grow the network. We know it's not an overnight fix. We have a little different approach than some of the other guys and we're doing it methodically and strategically for certain properties that add a lot more live events with a lot more personality on the air and gaining a lot more distribution and it works well for our strategy and our business model." Berson: "We're going to continue to look and find properties that make sense for us, but again, we're not going to spend foolishly. We want it to make smart business sense for our company and we picked our spots to date and we feel good about it and we'll continue to be smart and strategic and selective in wherever we invest." With FS1 launching Saturday, Berson said, "I give them credit. They're coming quite aggressively now and they have a nice portfolio of rights. It's not so easy going from random events to 24/7 and they're in the throes of that right now, piecing it together and good luck to them" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 8/14).