CBS Sports Digital EVP/GM Jeff Gerttula: CBS Sports HQ ‘Is a Pretty Simple Model’
Recently promoted exec says new live-streaming sports-news service has loads of room to grow
On Monday, CBS Sports launched its CBS Sports HQ sports-streaming product, and it has caught the attention of many in the industry for its simplicity. Free to watch, no authentication needed, and a 24/7 live sports-news approach make a for a new-school product with an old-school feel.
For CBS Sports Digital EVP/GM Jeff Gerttula, that’s exactly the goal.
“It’s a pretty simple model,” he explains. “The vision for this is to be focused on the foundational news and information that we know sports fans want. We’re not going on a limb with the overall vision here. We’re pretty up the middle in our overall delivery.”
CBS Sports HQ is produced out of CBS Sports Digital’s facilities in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The control room and studio were built about four years ago, but some recent upgrades were made in anticipation of the launch.
Gerttula confirms the sentiment that CBS Sports HQ is based on the model of its news and politics sibling, CBSN, the 24/7 live-streaming news platform that launched in November 2014.
“We worked really closely with [the CBSN team] to replicate their operations and their systems and overall network structure,” he says. “We were fortunate to have their playbook to work off of. This vision of always-on, free, ad-supported, available-on-digital-devices network has been tremendously successful. We had the opportunity to provide something similar in the sports space.”
CBS Sports HQ hits all the major distribution methods: mobile, desktop, and connected TV. So what are the immediate goals for the platform?
“For us, this is the first inning of a longer play,” says Gerttula. “We expect this product to evolve over time as we better understand where and when people are consuming the digital stream. We receive a lot of information on consumers; we’ll try to do more of what works for them and certainly experiment a little bit.”