From Madness into Masters; CBS SportsLine Dominates March, Stays Hot in April
CBS SportsLine records strongest month of traffic in company history
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, April 12, 2006 - CBS SportsLine, a leading Internet sports media organization and part of CBS Digital Media, recorded its strongest month of traffic ever in March, 2006 according to Nielsen//NetRatings. The CBS SportsLine.com Network, a compilation of CBS owned and produced sites, including CBS SportsLine.com, CSTV.com (a network of approximately 250 official athletic sites), NCAAsports.com and PGATOUR.com registered 15.4 million unique visitors in March. Taking into account the addition of CSTV.com, the CBS SportsLine.com Network traffic figure is up 94% from 2005. (CSTV Networks was acquired by CBS in 1/06)
Among that network of sites, the CBS SportsLine.com domain led the way with nearly eight million unique visitors, its highest monthly total ever and 50% higher than in 2005. Additionally, Nielsen//NetRatings aggregates a "custom" CBS SportsLine Network figure that includes NFL.com, also produced by CBS SportsLine. That CBS SportsLine Network recorded 18.3 million unique visitors in March, garnering a larger audience than any property in the sports category for the month.
"Our strategy when we announced the transformation of CBS SportsLine to a multimedia digital sports network last September was that the internal investment, specifically in the area of online video, would pay long term dividends for not only CBS SportsLine but the entire CBS Digital Media family. These numbers are clear evidence of those dividends," said Larry Kramer, President of CBS Digital Media. "We're making tremendous progress in taking all of the world-class content that CBS produces and making it available across every available platform."
A major catalyst for traffic this past March was the success of CBS SportsLine's NCAA® March Madness™ on Demand (MMOD), produced in partnership with CBS Sports, CSTV and the NCAA®. MMOD provided streaming live video of the first 56 games of the 2006 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship and for the first time ever was offered free of charge.
In total, MMOD served over 19 million streams of live and archived video from the 2006 NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
FINAL NCAA® March Madness™ on Demand (MMOD) Traffic Numbers:
MMOD served over 19 million streams of live and archived game action
MMOD recorded over five million visits during the tournament
A total of 1.3 million users registered for MMOD
Immediately following the success of MMOD, CBS Digital Media was involved in another highly successful online live video event. Masters.org partnered with CBS SportsLine, CBS Sports and Augusta National Golf Club to produce "Amen Corner Live", live streaming video from the 11th, 12th and 13th holes of the 2006 Masters® Tournament.
As was the case with MMOD, "Amen Corner Live" performed flawlessly, producing stunning live video from one of the most famous sporting events in the world. Over four days (April 6-9) and during approximately 22 hours of live video from Augusta National Golf Club, "Amen Corner Live" generated over 3.4 million video streams at Masters.org and CBS SportsLine.com combined.
FINAL "Amen Corner Live" Traffic Numbers:
Over 3.4 million video streams of live golf action were served over four days
A peak usage figure of over 85,000 simultaneous streams
The average time spent viewing "Amen Corner Live" was over two hours per visit
Additional highlights from the month of March include a strong beginning to the fantasy baseball season. As was announced in February, this season CBS SportsLine is offering Free Fantasy Baseball Basic, its first free fantasy offering in several years, to go along with its award winning Fantasy Baseball Commissioner and Premium Single games. The result was a 46% increase in fantasy baseball teams hosted on CBS SportsLine as the season officially got underway in April.
"Investing in our content, our customer experience and the success of our advertisers are our top priorities and further evidence of our long term strategy," said Steve Snyder, General Manager of CBS SportsLine. "What's extremely encouraging is that despite our free offering, our subscription revenue for this fantasy baseball season continues to show healthy growth. That is certainly a strong testament to the strength of our fantasy brand in the marketplace."
About CBS Digital Media
CBS Digital Media is the in-house unit of CBS overseeing all online, interactive, wireless and digital video initiatives. The group currently operates CBS.com, CBSNews.com and CBS SportsLine.com.
About CBS SportsLine
CBS SportsLine is at the leading edge of media companies providing Internet sports content, Fantasy sports and e-commerce. In addition to its flagship service, the company publishes the official Web sites of the NFL, PGA TOUR and NCAA Sports. CBS SportsLine is a member of the CBS family and a part of CBS Digital Media. For more information about CBS SportsLine.com and for the latest sports news, scores and expert analysis, please visit cbs.sportsline.com.