CBS College Steps Into Spotlight With No. 3 TCU vs. No. 5 Utah
At 3:30 ET on Saturday afternoon, two top-five BCS teams will meet in a battle of the unbeatens. But, in a programming twist that should give a huge boost to a relatively new player on the college-football scene, the game will be broadcast on CBS College Sports Network. To ensure that 57 million households will have access to the game, the network has extended its free preview to affiliated distributors through Saturday Nov. 6.
“We look at this game as an enormous opportunity,” explains Steve Herbst, EVP/GM of the CBS College Sports Network. “We want to be able to show the world with this free preview that we have some great conferences and great football on our network. We really just want to show off the network, and we hope that this game will shine a light on us.”
Parent company CBS Sports has helped shine that light with some synergistic cross-promotion on its air, but, in the past couple of weeks, CBS College has made a name for itself. Last week, the network paid tribute to the service academies with its Armed Forces Salute, a full week of programming leading up to Saturday afternoon, when Air Force, Army, and Navy all played football games in a tripleheader on the CBS College Sports Network.
“I thought last week was a total success,” Herbst says. “I was really pleased with the kickoff evening we had at the Intrepid and how people received the Inside Academy Football documentary shows. All of the programming we had surrounding that and leading up to the tripleheader on Saturday was great, the three games were great, and I was really pleased with the week. It set us up nicely as we get together our act for this week.”
After changing out its graphics package last week for the Armed Forces Salute, this week, CBS College switches back to its normal graphic look, heavy on the football theme. The network did give some additional production power to the TCU-Utah game and is hoping to have an aerial camera system in place before kickoff.
“We’ve got two of our best working as the announce team for this game, with Craig Bolerjack and Aaron Taylor, and we’re very excited for it,” Herbst says. “We’re generally trying to throw as many resources as we can at this 3:30 game.”
Bookending the BCS-buster game are two other important matchups on the network. At noon, Army takes on Air Force in a game that is relevant not only to the fate of the Commander-in-Chief trophy, which is of utmost importance to the service academies, but also to bowl implications. In the evening slot on CBS College will be Tennessee vs. Memphis. “It’s always good to see an SEC team on our network,” Herbst says. “We’re just incredibly excited about the weekend of football.”
CBS College is available across the country through various local cable and video providers and nationally via satellite on DirecTV (Choice XTRA Package – Channel 613) and Dish Network (America’s Top 200 Package – Channel 152). Among the affiliate partners participating in the free preview for CBS College are Bright House Networks (selected markets), Comcast Cable (selected markets), Charter Communications, Cox Communications (selected markets), Dish Network, Mediacom, and Time Warner Cable.