CBS has been pretty awesome in the streaming video racket for awhile now. They offer streams of The Masters and the NCAA Tournament, all in the face of the risk that somehow, they'd lose TV ad dollars from the potential lost audience watching the events online. However, CBS seems to take the opinion, a right one I believe, that most people want to watch these events on the big screen. Your online video watchers are those who don't have access to a big screen. You are adding to your audience, not losing them. And hey, there's such a thing as online advertisement, too. Now, streaming sports has a Super Bowl-sized event in store: this weekend's LSU-Alabama showdown in Tuscaloosa. SEC. Ranked 1 & 2. That is all.
Record Numbers Could Watch the LSU-Alabama Game Online
CBS has offered live streaming of SEC games of the week for a few years now. But even last year's SEC Championship, between Auburn and South Carolina, didn't reach numbers that this matchup is likely to draw. According to this article, CBS has been "hovering under six figures" with their live-streaming of SEC games. Where CBS stands to gain more viewers are people who use the CBS Sports Mobile app for iPad and iPhone. People who might be at work, or traveling, or sneaking around during their daughter's birthday party. And LSU versus Alabama is certainly a game some people are going to hate to miss for any reason. Hence, mobile devices rule.
And think about what rides on this game for these two teams' fans. A loss is demoralizing, since LSU and Alabama are in the same SEC West division, and there's no chance that they could rematch in the SEC Championship game, and it's unlikely they would see each other in the BCS Championship. So, in effect, this is the SEC Championship game, especially with a questionable SEC East opponent waiting in the wings.
So there is a lot of emphasis on this game for so many reasons. 1 versus 2 would get hype anyway, but the ramifications affect many. That is why CBS stands not only to have a huge TV number, but tremendous online number as well. When streaming video gets big numbers, and adds to the bottom line, that opens the door for other brands to want to give it a try.
By the way...who do you think will win?