This week in Gridiron Tech news, we take a look at how mainstream media outlets such as CBS and ESPN are preparing for the online streaming apocalypse, plus a breakdown of why Twitter has decided to take a plunge into the world of 280 character limits.

CBS goes livestream 24/7: In a move that is sure to be emulated by its competitors, CBS Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves announced the launch of CBS Sports HQ. The new 24/7 livestream sports channel is expected to launch in the coming months and helps offset the alarming rate of cord-cutters while positioning CBS to compete for digital rights against rivals such as Amazon and Facebook. The licensing rights for obtaining exclusive sports content are soaring, which is why CBS Sports is preparing for what some are calling “the roaring twenties” of exclusive livestream sports packages. “What we see is an appetite of demand for consumers that want news and highlights of sports where we see a void in the marketplace,” CBS Chief Operating Officer Joseph Ianniello. “They want it on their terms, on their time. So we’re going to give that to them. We think the demographic is very attractive for advertising.”

Networks strike new cord: Not sold yet on the Over The Top (OTT) sports movement? According to a new survey by the Consumer Technology Association, more households are cutting the cord in 2017 than ever before. Over 1.5M households have cancelled their cable subscriptions through the first three quarters of the year. That’s a significant number which is only expected to increase further next year. The report also states that nearly 70% of Americans now subscribe to some sort of streaming service. The new evidence is forcing companies such as the aforementioned CBS to change the way they do business and shift their focus toward online streaming. Want more proof? ESPN also just announced preliminary plans to launch a stand-alone sports streaming service in 2018. It will not stream the same live content it shows on cable TV. Instead, it opens the door of opportunity for sports leagues to license some of their out-of-market games, which MLB has already agreed to do. It seems like every major media outlet is now angling to be a major player in obtaining exclusive rights to more livestream sports packages.

Twitter doubles down: Get used to longer Tweets. The much-anticipated move by Twitter to double the maximum user character count from 140 to 280 has officially taken full effect. According to a company blogpost, nine percent of tweets were reaching the maximum of 140 characters. During testing of the new 280-character limit, just one percent of tweets hit the max. The move is designed to make it easier for people to fit thoughts into a tweet so they can say what they want and send Tweets faster than before, which is great for reporters.

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