CBSSports, MLBAM Team Up To Add In-Game Audio, Highlights to Fantasy Product
Fantasy-sports participants can never get enough information on their favorite teams, and a new partnership between CBSSports.com and MLB.com will give them a multimedia set of ways to stay engaged. Beginning this season, subscribers to CBSSports.com’s Fantasy Baseball Commissioner product will have access to live in-game audio feeds, both home and away, and in-game player highlights as part of an expanded partnership with MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM).
“We’ve always had a very close relationship with MLBAM,” says Jason Kint, SVP/GM of CBSSports.com. “They’ve always helped us with the backend of March Madness on Demand, but they also help us with the streaming and encoding of a number of our live video products, including fantasy. This is just an evolution of that partnership.”
Last year, Kint and his team began conversations with the MLBAM team about the crossover between baseball fans who subscribe to MLB.com video and audio packages and the fantasy-sports market.
“[MLBAM] clearly has the lion’s share of baseball fans on the Internet, and we have the largest subscription pay fantasy product for baseball,” he says. “We started talking about ways to improve the quality of our product and improve the distribution for MLB Advanced Media.”
The solution was a combining of forces that designates the CBSSports.com Fantasy Commissioner as the official fantasy-baseball product of MLB.com and adds live MLBAM features to the scoring page. Users will now be able to listen to live home or away audio feeds of all regular-season MLB games, access in-game highlights for each player, and watch a highlight compilation of each MLB player to see a player in action before drafting or trading him.
“When your player walks up to bat and hits a home run, you get a video highlight of that home run immediately on your desktop,” Kint says. “The reason that the fantasy-sports fan is more engaged than any other sports fan is their appetite for real-time experience. This partnership gives you even more engagement, and we think that distances us even further from the basic free games that are out there.”
Because of the ongoing partnership between CBS and MLBAM, most of the pieces were already in place to bring MLBAM’s assets to the CBSSports.com fantasy experience. To watch a highlight, a user can launch a co-branded player on MLB.com, and access to live audio streams will appear on the live scoring page.
“MLBAM is probably better than anyone at encoding video for the Internet and distributing it out, and our platform was built for this,” Kint explains. “You’re moving from what has historically been a live text-based experience to an experience where you can also listen in to the audio and watch video. It’s a deeper experience.”