CBS College Sports Ups Distribution by 16%

CBS College Sports has upped its distribution by 16 percent, adding 4 million subscribers in homes serviced by Comcast, Bright House Networks and Verizon’s FiOS TV. The three separate carriage deals put the network formerly known as CSTV in some 29 million households.

The Comcast deal accounts for about half of those subscriber adds (2 million), and includes the operator’s digital-cable systems in Atlanta, Boston and Minneapolis.

Meanwhile, Bright House earlier this month upgraded CBS College Sports’ positioning in its Central Florida and Tampa markets, moving the channel to its digital-basic tier.

On the telco front, Verizon announced that it will launch the net on its FiOS TV sports package before the month is out. Verizon will also carry CBS College’s HD channel when it launches next year. (At present, the network’s hi-definition programming is upconverted from its standard-definition signal, and is available via simulcast.)

Each of the new distribution agreements was sweetened in part by bonus sublicensing pacts. For example, thanks to its relationship with the NCAA’s Conference USA, CBS College has worked out a side deal whereby Bright House Sports Network will be able to carry select University of Central Florida football and basketball games.

Last month, CBS College said it plans to shift its focus toward providing more hi-def game coverage, a move that will come at the expense of the sports net’s studio shows. On Oct. 16, around 30 staffers were let go, most of which were part of the CBS College production team.