CBSSports.com, Thought Equity Team Up To Offer Colleges Video Archive, Metadata Services

For college athletic programs, which are often strapped for staff and cash, archiving video content can be a luxury that is seldom afforded. For the colleges for which the CBSSports.com College Network produces their official athletic site, however, archiving is just one of the services now available through a new partnership with Thought Equity Motion (TEM). A provider of video-platform and footage-licensing services, TEM is offering its digitization, preservation, and metadata-management services to all 175 schools under the CBSSports.com College Network umbrella.

“Clearly, Thought Equity’s strength is digitization of historical content,” says Rob Schupler, SVP of university relations for CBSSports.com College Network. “We know that is of interest to our partners. Based on our schools’ level of interest, we will be having deeper discussions that will include in-person presentations to walk through what the offering is, how it will benefit them as an institution, and how it can benefit their consumers in utilizing this content.”

It will be up to each institution to decide whether to use the TEM services: content digitization and preservation; the ability to search, preview, clip, and download games in multiple formats; asset delivery through a Web-based portal to partners, broadcasters, and other third parties; revenue generation from content licensing; and business-to-consumer experiences, such as the NCAA Vault and ACC Vault.

“It’s up to them to decide whether to opt in or out,” Schupler says, “but it’s up to us to paint a clear picture that makes sense for their brand, their institution, and their base of fans.”

Custom Partnerships
As individual schools express interest in taking advantage of some — or all — of TEM’s services, TEM will work with the schools individually to acquire the content and figure out how best to move forward in digitizing and monetizing it. TEM will generally provide the personnel required to do so, although, in some cases, schools will have the people to get the work done. The partnership will vary by school.

“At the base level, we’re able to show them what they can do with our platform, just from a preservation and library-management perspective,” says Dan Weiner, VP of marketing and products for TEM. “Before they publish it, there’s value to them that content is stored, preserved, and tagged with metadata, so that, within the institution, they can access it.”

While TEM brings its archiving and digitization expertise to the partnership, CBSSports.com’s video players and subscription packages offer TEM a ready-made channel for delivering schools’ archival content to fans.

“We’ll continue to innovate and work with CBS as they add more tools on their Websites and mobile platforms,” Weiner says. “There are some challenges in figuring out the rights. If the school does have the rights to content, they can choose to monetize that content through our licensing services, as well as taking advantage of our core technology services.”

First Hurdle: Backend Integration
Before those rights can be exploited, however, TEM will have to determine how to integrate its rich content into Netitor, the content-management system for the CBSSports.com College Network sites.

“To do textual integration would be great, but it is somewhat technically challenging and will take a fair amount of time on our end,” Schupler says. “The rights issue, uncovering who owns the content, I think is paramount to making sure that we proceed accordingly, but the backend integration on our behalf is something we have to tackle first.”

Whether that content will be placed in front of the All Access subscription-package paywall, as a free add-on for fans, or behind it, as a value-add for subscription customers, will also have to be determined.

Says Schupler, “We feel it’s a great way for the schools to push out their brand and deepen the affinity with their fan base.”