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CBS Scores With Sports Ad Network

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 25, 2008

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by Cassimir Medford on 21 May 2008, 13:26

CBS Sports on Wednesday announced that it is discontinuing its use of third-party online ad networks and starting its own.

The move by CBS underscores a growing trend in the online ad industry of old media firms such as Forbes, Black Entertainment Television, and Martha Stewart Living mobilizing their own resources to connect advertisers to publishers.

“Over the last few years there has been a giving away of a lot of inventory to blind remnant ad networks where the advertiser does not have any control of where their ads end up,” said Jason Kint, senior vice president and general manager of and

Advertiser experiences with these remnant ad networks, Mr. Kint said, have been “less than optimal,” because they lack transparency, and that makes brand management and the measurement of campaign effectiveness difficult.

Ad networks such as, Specific Media, and TACODA provide a virtual meeting place where advertisers are connected to web publishers looking to sell ad inventory.

“But there are limitations on the level of control mass market ad networks can give since they are offering leftover inventory from a lot of places that the publisher could not sell so brand advertisers are wary of these networks,” said Michael Greene, an analyst with JupiterResearch.

Old media firms such as the Washington Post and CBS are building their own online ad networks to drive additional revenue from online ads and to accommodate brand advertisers willing to pay a premium for improved oversight.

CBS College Sports Media offers an array of college sports sites including,, and the official sites of approximately 215 U.S. colleges.

CBS has invested heavily in college sports, which attracts a much sought after but elusive demographic of college educated males ages 18-49.

“College sports is such a fragmented space online that it’s good for advertisers to access this inventory from one place,” said Mr. Greene. “This is one of the more difficult audiences for advertisers to reach.”

CBS’s online streaming of the NCAA Division l Men’s Basketball tournament attracted 4.75 million unique visitors this year, more than double last year’s total.

CBS said its College Sports Media reached more than 10 million unique visitors overall in March and delivered 1.5 billion impressions.


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