CBS seeks to grow its brand by launching new events division

Rich Lobel, a Live Nation alumnus, will be executive vice president and managing director of CBS Experiences. (Ben Munson/FierceCable)

CBS Corp. today announced CBS Experiences, a new experiential events division for live and interactive events that will build off the company’s existing IP.

CBSX will create both touring and on-off, ticketed and sponsored events that the company holds will not only build more brand awareness but also boost its merchandising business.

"As marketers continue to place an increasing importance on the value of experiences, the launch of CBSX is an ideal opportunity to leverage our Company's many assets," said Tony Ambrosio, senior executive vice president and chief administrative officer at CBS, in a statement. "By extending and elevating CBS properties, we have the ability to unlock incremental value, while also enabling consumers and marketers to engage with their favorite entertainment, news and sports brands in a new immersive dimension."

Rich Lobel, a Live Nation alumnus, will be executive vice president and managing director of CBS Experiences, and he will work alongside Vinnie Favale, senior vice president of late night and talent development for CBS Television Studios.

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"Rich's extensive experiential background, coupled with Vinnie's creative vision and knowledge of CBS properties, talent and events, gives us a winning combination of talent to run and grow this exciting new business for CBS,” Ambrosio said.

Among the major U.S. broadcasters, CBS trails behind ABC and NBCUniversal in terms of events and merchandising. Both of those companies are part of larger conglomerates that include large-scale theme park and hospitality business segments.

The announcement from CBS comes as Viacom, which was once part of the same company as CBS and is also majority owned by National Amusements, ramps up its own live events business. Each of Viacom’s six flagship brands will host live events this year, including Comedy Central’s Clusterfest in San Francisco, Nickelodeon’s Slimefest in Chicago, and the BET Experience in Los Angeles.