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How CBS Sports is bridging the transition between traditional TV and streaming

Golf fans could have tuned in to watch Xander Schauffele winning his first major at the PGA Championship on CBS or Paramount+. And that’s a key part of CBS Sports’ strategy to stay future-forward as live sports starts to envelop streaming. The TV giant has a wide variety of live sports rights, from the PGA Tour to the NFL, Big Ten college football and basketball, along with the UEFA Champions League.

The Champions League final and Big Ten football championship will air on both CBS and Paramount+. Coming off the major success that Paramount and CBS Sports found streaming the Super Bowl and March Madness, the company is rolling into the future with a strategy focused on emphasizing both traditional TV and streaming with its live sports offerings.

Jeffrey Gerttula, CBS Sports’ EVP of Digital, CBS Sports, News, Stations and Entertainment, joins Damian Fowler on a special edition of The Current Report to break down how the company is doing just that.

“The Super Bowl stream was 50% bigger than the previous year,” Gerttula says. “That’s crazy. So, the trends right now are remarkable. We’re seeing this moment of significant macrotrend shift in consumption of sports on streaming platforms.”

And streaming could provide a chance to lift all boats, particularly when it comes to sports that are not always front and center. A key function to that — besides simply the space and availability that streaming offers — is the shoulder programming that CBS Sports is offering on CBS Sports HQ, its 24/7 highlights and analysis channel, along with 24/7 soccer channel the Golazo Network, its free 24/7 channel dedicated to soccer. That programming brings the storylines alive, creating an emotional tie for sports fans to drive interest.

“Just putting an event on a streaming service doesn’t lift anything,” Gerttula says. “That piece I don’t think is as valuable to emerging sports as the space to drive storytelling. Ultimately interest is driven by context. Understanding the characters [and] the personalities.”