On DirecTV, CBS Sports Network has been on channel 613. No one knows about it, no one goes that high looking for sports and CBS Sports Network doesn't have the content to warrant searching for it.
But the channel is moving to DirecTV channel 221 on Aug. 21, a great move that puts them in the "sports section" of DirecTV's lineup: the ESPN family of networks begin at DirecTV channel 206 and go through 209; the NFL Network is 212, MLB is 213, NHL Network is 215, NBA TV is 216, Tennis Channel is 217 and the Golf Channel is 218. If a DirecTV customer wants to aimlessly flip through the sports channels, they'll go here, not channel 613. The regional sports networks start at the 600's and run through channel 700 or so, but if there is a game on and you aren't a subscriber to any extra package like MLB Extra Innings, those channels will be blacked out.
The national cable sports channels will now be aligned when CBSSN takes its place at 221.
The soon-to-be cable sports juggernaut Fox Sports 1 is moving from SPEED's channel 607 to channel 219, and NBCSN moved to channel 220 earlier last year - relocating from channel 603 when it was still Versus. Fox Sports 2, which has barely been announced at all - probably due to ratings issues and apathy towards a network that will run Regis Philbin reruns and Australian Rules Football(!) - has not confirmed whether it will accompany its sister channel FS1 in the DirecTV 200 block.
CBSSN is probably the least-known national cable outlet, hidden away in the rafters of DirecTV's extra sports package. While they have signed some decently sized names for their original content - Jim Rome, Doug Gottlieb, Tim Brando - they don't have the notoriety, or the live rights to keep up with ESPN, Fox or even NBC. But this year, CBS is hoping, will be different as far as ratings go.
Their channel will be easier to find and they have the most extensive college football schedule since their network's debut. Yes, their most exciting, marquee matchup is USC-Hawaii on the first night of the season, Aug. 29, but they have some very fun, small schools that will be worth watching at 10 p.m. on a Friday night. Not many networks have secured the rights to South Alabama and West Alabama football games. The bidding war must have been crazy.
I seriously think that the ABC/ESPN package to the NBA games will go to CBS/CBS Sports Network and Turner Sports will re-up their package. After that CBS Sports will have that prime package to give reason to get more subscribers for their network.
With ESPN cutting back on workers, I think they're going to let most of their properties walk and go with cheaper content like college sports. ESPN's bread and butter is SportsCenter and they should just stay focused on that right now. College Sports is everyday and it'll be easier for ESPN to put live content up. Let the other 3 overbid for everything and let the Sports TV contract bubble, pop.
I just wish DirecTV would get off their asses and bring on the Pac-12 Channel. Stop dicking around and let the fans watch their teams. They make sure they get the Time Warner channel for the Lakers games that I couldn't care less about and yet, they won't spend the few cents of change for the Pac-12 Channel. Total retards at DirecTV.