It may have to do with its newest hire, the irrepressible Jim Rome, who has publicly admitted numerous times to not being a fan of Soccer.
For whatever reason, it looks like CBS has determined that the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, college football, college basketball, tennis, golf and NASCAR had to be part of its website, but not soccer.
Soccer is nowhere to be found on CBSSports.com. Maybe it had a part (webpage) in the past on the site, but it doesn’t seem to have any part of the future for the site.
There is no mistaking that this is a strategy move by CBS, but what’s the strategy, exactly?
Is it to use the website to highlight sports that can be seen most often on its television network? If this is the case, then, why do the NBA, MLB and NHL get coverage. The NBA, MLB and NHL have no ties to CBS television broadcasts.
Is it possible the site is under some kind of renovation when it comes to soccer? It doesn’t appear this is likely because the site has been around since 2004, when it was bought as sportsline.com.
Possibly, executives thought soccer was too big of a sport to try and give appropriate headlines to. As the world’s sport, maybe CBS felt they couldn’t accommodate the challenges of updating the sport. But this wouldn’t make a lot of sense, because for many of their web sports pages, like NHL or Tennis, they are using bloggers or getting news from other sources.
Not devoting anything to soccer was a conscientious decision but without any clear motive. Maybe they felt like Soccer is already big on the other notable sports sites, like Yahoo, The Big Lead, FOX, SI, and ESPN, so why bother. But his doesn’t make sense, because all sports get time devoted to them from those sites.
CBS is desperately trying to raise their online presence, as well as promote their new sports television network. They have a national columnist in Ray Ratto for the website and Jim Rome for the fledgling CBS Sports Network.
Both were hired to give a ratings boost nationally, especially Rome. He is controversial and hugely followed on the radio. He will bring something different to the table for them, but how much of an impact it will be remains to be seen.
Apparently, Rome and CBSSports.com have more in common than just their contract. They both have a disdain for soccer and neither seems to have a good enough reason for it.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com