Taps Silverlight For March Madness On Demand

partnership with CBS Sports and the NCAA, has announced that NCAA March Madness on Demand will have an additional, high-definition
quality video player available for users when action from the 2009 NCAA
Division I Men’s Basketball Championship begins on Thursday, March 19.
has selected Microsoft Silverlight to power its new high-quality player to
deliver the enhanced video stream. By downloading the new Silverlight player,
users can upgrade their NCAA March Madness on Demand experience from the
standard player (approx. 550 kb/s) to one delivering up to 1.5 mb/s per second
of enhanced video action from the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball

Both the
standard video player and the high-definition quality option will be offered
free of charge. For more information on 2009 NCAA March Madness on Demand and
to download the Silverlight player for high-definition quality video, users can

a high-definition quality video player, as has done with NCAA
March Madness on Demand, is clearly the next stop in the evolution of online
video coverage of major sporting events,” says Sean McManus, President, CBS Sports and CBS News. “This
enhanced video offering will make the viewer experience that much more robust
and serve as a perfect complement to the coverage on CBS Sports.”

off a huge success in 2008, we once again strived to improve MMOD for the
millions of NCAA basketball fans watching on the Internet around the
world,” says Jason Kint, SVP
and general manager, “This year, is excited
to break ground by providing a high-quality video experience, becoming the
first media company to deliver a major sports event in this fashion.”

Silverlight is proud to be selected by CBS as the technology of choice for this
year’s NCAA March Madness on Demand offering on,” says Scott Guthrie, corporate vice
president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft Corp. “Our goal with
this project is to help fans connect with their teams in the most fun and
engaging ways possible. As we’ve proven, Silverlight excels during these types
of high-traffic, online media events, so we’re more than ready to help make
this year’s March Madness tournament coverage online the most dynamic, high
quality and thrilling experience for viewers yet.”

NCAA March
Madness on Demand (MMOD) provides live streaming video and audio of the NCAA
Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Since its inception in 2003, MMOD
traditionally provided live video of the first 56 games, starting with the
first round, of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship as they were
broadcast by CBS Sports, with local broadcasts being subject to blackouts.
Beginning in 2008, MMOD started showing all 63 games, from the first round of
the tournament through the semifinal and final games of the Men’s Final Four
making it the only major sporting event that is broadcast live and in its
entirety for free on the Internet.

In 2008,
there was 164% year-over-year growth in total unique visitors to NCAA March
Madness on Demand (4.8 million total unique visitors to the NCAA March Madness
on Demand video player) and 81% year-over-year growth in total hours of live
video and audio consumed (5 million total hours of video consumed).

NCAA March
Madness on Demand’s standard video player will launch on March 10 with
historical highlights from past NCAA tournaments and be available at ( as well as via MMOD links on

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