Welcome back for another exciting year. While the "off-season" was enjoyable, we're looking forward to a fantastic year ahead.
We have made over 30 changes and improvements to our entire product suite with a strong focus on our video player/streaming platform including the launches of an HTML5 player, live streaming to multiple platforms, DVR, etc. With these launches, we now have the most robust video offering in the market with plans for much more (e.g., integrated chat). Additionally, we are moving to Omniture as our standard reporting platform, giving you better reporting and access to real-time engagement and usage metrics. Stay tuned for a virtual roadshow where we plan to showcase these and other features and answer any questions you may have.
One reason we are able to make these significant investments in our platform is the overall health of our business. Last school year we achieved significant revenue and profitability growth and continue to maintain a 75+% share of market of the Big Six conferences Official Athletic Site business. This success points directly to our decision to structure healthy relationships and engage in deals that are mutually beneficial. We plan to continue this strategy as evidenced by our decision to not renew agreements with a few well-known brands this summer. Our ability to structure win-win deals provides us with the ability and resources to better serve you and your constituents.
We also welcome Virginia and Rutgers to our network. Five years ago UVa moved to a competitor, but recently decided to return because of our superior suite of products and best-in-class customer service.
If you have any questions, please give me a call. Thank you for your continued support of CBSSports.com College Network.
Stat Crew Upgrade
Our Stat Crew team has developed software to handle the sending of live event .xml files while using their legacy software called the Legacy Cloud Connector (LCC). This software, in conjunction with the Stat Crew Cloud, is a far superior live event .xml file transmission tool than TASFTP because it ...
... is much faster (result: the main GT view and "Media View" update much more quickly)
... is much more stable (never times out and eliminates a variety of issues inherent to how TASFTP works)
... is less taxing on the scoring computer
... allows for more than two destinations (no limit)
... allows for varying naming conventions desired/required by live event .xml recipients
... improves your ability to troubleshoot a problem with successful send indicators, unsuccessful send alerts and the ability to view the contents of the live event .xml file
We encourage your staff members still using TASFTP to make the transition to the LCC. This software can greatly improve event day operations as it pertains to distributing the live event .xml file, most notably for live stats purposes. We are confident that any that make the change will be very glad they did!
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact your Managing Editor.
Stat Crew and Article Pages
Via the upload of the event .xml file, our Editorial team can present an event summary feature in your football game recaps. The summary features the core game info (location, time, etc.), a linescore (w/ updated team records), a scoring summary and team statistical leaders. Check out an example here.
If you are interested in adding this feature to your football game recaps, please contact your Managing Editor. The team is currently working to bring this feature to other sports.
CBS Interactive has chosen to move forward with a full implementation of Omniture as our analytics provider across our sites. Omniture offers many benefits such as:
Ease of use for end users
Ease of support
New advances in mobile support
Social interaction tracking
Ability to report both high level deduplication of unique users and deeper dives of horizontal and vertical data across an individual website
As an added benefit we also hope to move forward with a self-service platform for your sites. Additional benefits upon launch include:
One integrated web analytics tool
One place to measure, analyze, and optimize integrated data from all online initiatives across multiple marketing channels and technologies.
Intuitive, easy-to-use interface
Adobe SiteCatalyst has an intuitive user interface that reveals key online marketing insights quickly and easily -- for both novice and professional users.
Access Adobe SiteCatalyst data from your iPad. Scroll, swipe, and zoom into a specific time periods, as well as add new metrics and email reports with a simple touch.
Instant decision making
Set up automatic notification of event triggers when your key metrics exceed or fall below expectations.
Stadium Pre-Game Tour Auction
South Carolina recently placed a unique football experience up for auction. Fans bid on a chance for a behind-the-scenes tour of Williams-Brice Stadium, including the locker room, luxury suites, and taking pictures on the field. With no to low costs attached, this type of auction is great for many of our partners during both football and basketball seasons. If you'd like to get started with a similar auction, please contact your University Relations representative.
Netitor Upgrade: Social Sign-On
CBSSports.com College Network rolled out a Netitor upgrade which provides you the ability to share content you post via Publish -> Build New Page. At the conclusion of your post, or edit, you can share the content via the same social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google +1, LinkedIn, etc.) currently available on your article pages and select other locations throughout your site.
There are two important notables:
1. For whichever social network you choose, the content will be shared with whichever account you are logged into at the time. So, for example, if you are logged into your personal Facebook account but want to share the content with the official <> Facebook page, you will need to log into that account prior to proceeding with the share.
2. When posting to more than one sport, the URL shared will be that of the primary sport selected (the one chosen from the "Sport/Section" dropdown menu).
Schedule Page Upgrade
We have released a new feature for the schedule page which allows users to view all past and future schedules that exist in the database. Live examples can be seen here and here.
To help drive this feature, as well as the recently deployed "Last Meeting" feature, our Editorial team has been entering historical events into the database for each of our partners. We set our sights initially on football and as a result, the majority of our partners will soon be able to offer their fans their complete football event history.
There are a few benefits that will result from the addition of this feature, one being its expected role in increasing certain traffic metrics (impressions, clicks per visit, session duration, etc.). Schedule pages are the most-viewed group of non-index pages across the network. For example, five of the 10 most-visited pages for the month-to-date are schedule pages. In some cases, the football schedule page is visited more often than the front page.
Like the recent bio and last meeting work, we're expanding the content offering ... placing available, related content in places where users would want/expect. For example, if you're interested in reading someone's bio, you'll be interested in reading articles and viewing photos of the person, etc. While we've seen great results from the bio work, the combination of each of these new features and future efforts will make a huge impact on user experience.
New Feature: Last Meeting
We have completed a new Netitor feature called "Last Meeting." This feature taps our partners' historical data to provide their users a more compelling and informative look at the last meeting between their teams and all applicable opponents to which they associate their weekly releases/game notes to during the publishing process. At a minimum, the feature will provide the outcome, date and location of the last meeting. It will expand to include, if available, the recap, box score, notes, quotes and/or photo gallery(ies). An example can be found by clicking here. More information on this feature can be found here.
This work is a continuation of our effort to deliver a more compelling and informative user experience by expanding, in automated fashion, the content offering in key locations.
CBSSports.com College Network wants to consistently help extend the global reach of your Official Athletic Site. A major part of that mission is expanding access to the great content in your All-Access subscription multimedia product.
In September, we rolled out the first iteration of our HTML5 video player within your All-Access product for increased compatibility with iOS devices (iPhone and iPad). Our first release supported on-demand video content. We followed up in early October with live video support for iOS devices in our HTML5 player, which requires the availability of an HLS-encoded source stream. Schools with an Official Mobile App through CBSSports.com College Network will automatically have their live video transcoded to HLS as part of the app program. Schools without an Official Mobile App will see live video transcoded to HLS in the future.
Your fans won't have to do anything differently to access video content through a mobile web browser on iOS devices. Our autodetect scripting will determine if the user is browsing your Official Athletic Site on an iOS device and present the HTML5 player accordingly.
If you have any questions or comments about this release, please don't hesitate to contact us. We'd love to hear your feedback. We hope your fans enjoy the expanded video access on their iOS devices!
Thank you for your continued support. Please send us any feedback that will help improve our quarterly newsletter.
Regards, Robert Schupler
SVP, University Sales and Marketing
CBSSports.com College Network