CBS College Sports Network
(usually promoted with the "Network" portion excised from the branding) is a multimedia network
and the first dedicated exclusively to college sports
24 hours a day. It consists of CBS College Sports Network, a digital television
service seen in more than 20 million homes via cable and satellite, and collegesports.com
and its network of 215 official college websites.
The network planted its roots in 1999 when Chris Bevilacqua
approached co-founders of Classic Sports Network Brian Bedol
and Stephen D. Greenberg
– at that time, running Fusient Media Ventures
, a New York-based sports and media company – came up with the idea for a network featuring all college sports all the time.
The network launched as the National College Sports Network in June, 2002 and was then renamed College Sports Television (CSTV) in February, 2003. From their headquarters and studio operations at Chelsea Piers in New York City, CSTV was the first independent cable channel to appear nationwide, on the DirecTV satellite system, at launch.
In November 2005, it was purchased by CBS Corporation for $325 million. It subsequently became the 24-hour college sports network from CBS Sports. On January 3, 2008, it was announced that CSTV would be integrated into CBS Sports, with Tony Petitti, executive vice president and executive producer of CBS Sports taking over operational day-to-day management of CSTV, which would be overseen by Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports. CSTV co-founder Brian Bedol would become a senior advisor to CBS Corporation president and CEO Leslie Moonves.
On February 12, 2008, it was announced that, as part of the ongoing integration of CSTV into CBS Sports, that the network, in March 2008, would be renamed the CBS College Sports Network
in order to tie in with the parent network's coverage of the NCAA Basketball Tournament (and the network's airing of several games during the opening round in addition to CBS). The graphical styling of the network changed to that of CBS Sports, and set changes will also be instituted. However, the studio shows are still based at Chelsea Piers, and did not move to the CBS Broadcast Center
or to another location in Manhattan
. One original program scheduled that airs as part of changes being made at the network is a twice-nightly sports news program entitled College Sports Tonight
The renaming occurred on March 16 in order to take advantage of the momentum from the parent CBS network's 2008 NCAA Tournament Selection Show. The graphics first appeared at 5 p.m. Eastern time. The first original show on CBS College Sports was Bracket Breakdown at 7 p.m., with contributions from CBS Sports hosts like Jim Nantz and Greg Gumbel in addition to the regulars of the former CSTV.
Additional program notes
- CBS College Sports did not begin producing HD programming until August 2008. The two NCAA tourney games in 2008, which were in HD on CBS, were converted to a standard definition feed.
- College Sports Tonight resumed from their summer recess September 3rd, 2008, and airs currently from Wednesday through Saturday at 7 PM and (depending if there is an event) 10 PM or 11 PM ET. The anchors are Greg Amsinger, Adam Zucker, Kevin Dunn and Dara McIntosh.
The cable network
Since airing that first game, CBS College Sports Network has televised thousands of hours of original programming, features, talk shows and documentaries as well as extensive women’s sports coverage. Its regular season and championship event coverage draws from every major collegiate athletic conference and division, in addition to nine NCAA championships. CBS College Sports Network televises 35 men’s and women’s college sports including football
, Ultimate Frisbee
from every major conference. The network holds multi-media and marketing rights for the Mountain West Conference
, the Atlantic 10 Conference
, Conference USA
, the Big West Conference
, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities
(HBCU) and Navy athletics
CBS College Sports Network has compiled a roster of broadcasters including basketball analysts Pete Gillen
, who led Virginia
to the NCAA tournament, and Steve Lappas
, the former Manhattan
coach. On the football side, former NFL players Trev Alberts
and Brian Jones
provide analysis. Renowned author and college sports insider Brian Curtis
, along with Greg Amsinger
and Adam Zucker
anchor CBS College Sports Network’s coverage from the studio.
In April 2006, CBS College Sports Network (then CSTV) launched the first annual Collegiate Nationals
, a festival of championships dedicated to crowning champions in a wide variety of collegiate action sports
such as snowboarding
, and beach volleyball
. More than 1,000 competitors converged on Reno
to compete, the largest amount ever for an event of its kind. For its second installment in 2007, the Collegiate Nationals added sports and other events such as national film and music competitions, as well as a second venue – San Diego
. The third year, 2008, brought further changes, as the winter sports events were moved to the Keystone Resort near Boulder, Colorado
and competitive eating
In the fall of 2006, CSTV and Comcast launched the MountainWest Sports Network (colloquially known as mtn.) dedicated to the coverage of one college conference featuring wall-to-wall coverage of the Mountain West Conference schools (Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, TCU, UNLV, Utah, and Wyoming). The relationship with the Mountain West also gave CSTV exclusive online and broadcasting rights to Notre Dame’s game at Air Force on November 11, 2006.
CBS College Sports Network is available on cable systems across the country, including Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Cablevision, Charter, Insight, Bright House Networks, Mediacom, RCN, Advanced Cable and Bresnan. It is also available on DirecTV's Total Choice Premier Package Channel 613 and Dish Network's America's Top 120 Package Channel 152.
In the fall of 2006, CSTV launched more than 100 broadband channels dedicated to college sports, which feature more than 10,000 live events. The subscription/pay-per-view service, called CBS College Sports XXL, and its portfolio of broadband channels in its All-Access suite, include coverage of Notre Dame, Southern California, Kansas, Ohio State and North Carolina.
Rogers Cable in Canada started carrying CBS College Sports Network on October 9, 2008.
Official athletic partnerships
In addition to their own website, CBS College Sports Network also operates athletics websites for many college athletics organizations.