Digital News Report – Unlike last year, this year the NCAA will stream March Madness for free. All 68-team tournaments will be broadcast by CBS Sports and Turner Sports.
The games will be broadcast free online and on full versions of the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch apps over Wi-fi and 3G. Last year viewers had to pay for the service.
More and more fans are watching the event online, according to a NCAA press release. The experience may even be better online. “The NCAA enters a new dimension with Turner Sports and CBS Sports that provides men’s basketball fans with enhanced features that will further enrich their online and mobile viewing experience,” the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) said.
The Apple Application includes a list of TV networks: TBS, TNT, truTV and CBS. Fans can input their zip code and see the channel lineup for every game. They can watch games on TV and use their Apple App or computer for stats.
Fans can follow key statistics like team leaders, scoring streaks, biggest lead, and see which player is in foul trouble. It is like having an interactive announcer at your fingertips.
The March Madness On Demand (MMOD) will be more sociable this year. Fans will be able to extend their likes onto Facebook. The “March Madness Social Arena will extend onto Facebook and NCAA.com with a way for fans to LIKE teams in each round and build their social score in a innovative view of the traditional bracket, as well as comment on games, interact with the social hosts, and rate highlights”.
The tournament begins are March 15 with the First Four from Dayton Ohio and continues through the Men’s Final Four® semifinals in Houston Texas on April 2 and April 4.
Online experiences are getting better, even for mobile. The NCAA is helping bring fans together with their teams in a new way.
By Tim Edwards