Turner, CBS Unveil NCAA March Madness Live; Add $4 Fee for Mobile, Tablet Offerings
This year’s live multi-platform video offering for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will get a new name, as well as a new price-point for mobile and tablet users. NCAA March Madness Live, formerly March Madness on Demand (MMOD), will stream every game in its entirety online, on iOS devices (iPad, iPhone and iPod) and, for the first time, on Android phones. However, unlike last year in which the iPad, iPhone, and iPod MMOD apps were free, the March Madness Live app carries a price tag of $3.99.
Produced by Turner Sports Interactive and utilizing the multi-platform rights of Turner Sports and CBS Sports, NCAA March Madness Live will stream all 67 tourney games as they are televised live by TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. Last year, more than 176 million people tuned into the tournament on the variety of platforms offered.
“Combining TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV with the enhanced offerings of the new NCAA March Madness product provides fans with instantaneous on-the-go access,” says Matthew Hong, SVP and GM of operations for Turner Sports, “ensuring they won’t miss a moment of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.”
The mobile and tablet apps will allow users to watch live streaming of every tourney broadcast over Wi-fi and 3G for $3.99 beginning on March 7.
As for the broadband offering, NCAA March Madness Live will be available on NCAA.com, CBSSports.com and SI.com. Turner will stream its linear television games online for free on an authenticated basis on the Turner websites (TBS.com, TNT.tv and truTV.com) for subscribers of cable, satellite or telco providers who have agreed to TV Everywhere deals with Turner (currently available to over 75 million households). All games airing on CBS will be available for free on CBSSports.com.
The app will tip off with a Selection Sunday live stream on March 11 featuring the NCAA Basketball Selection Show. In addition to live games, the iPhone and Android phone apps will offer video highlights for every game of the Tournament. Live game alerts are available for Android phones, as well as iPhones and iPads. The entire suite of digital offerings also feature an updated design and live radio broadcast courtesy of Westwood One/Dial Global Radio Network, for all 67 games across the suite of digital products.
As in past years, NCAA March Madness Live will provide schedules and live game scoring, live tournament brackets, personal channel lineup features, live stats, and live social companion views.
“We continue to look at ways to bring the tournament to more of our fan base and keep them connected to the excitement that culminates with the Final Four,” said NCAA interim executive vice president of championships and alliances Greg Shaheen. “NCAA March Madness Live is one of many options college basketball fans will have to watch this year’s tournament how they want, when they want.
The video player will also bring back the My Channels and Game Center View options. Through the My Channels personalized channel finder, users can plug in their zip code, select their TV provider, and see their channel lineup for every game on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. The Game Center view provides users with a control center at their fingertips for live in-game stats such as player stats, team leaders, scoring streaks, biggest lead and foul trouble, depending on which device they use – along with a graphic lead tracker – and live social features.
The Coke Zero NCAA March Madness Social Arena will return, but for the first time, it will allow users grab key game moments and share them with friends. In addition, fans will be able to view social commentary from other fans and celebrities, answer live tournament trivia, and cheer for their favorite teams. The Coke Zero NCAA March Madness Social Arena will extend onto Coke Zero’s Facebook page – offering a complete video gallery of all fan-grabbed moments, complete access to specially-aggregated Twitter feeds of all 68 teams, a uniquely-visualized bracket view of the loudest fans, and more.
Capital One and Coke Zero are the official sponsors of NCAA March Madness Live, and Coke Zero will provide a limited number of fans the opportunity to receive the paid apps for free to drive interest in the service. The promotion launches the week of Feb. 20.
Hong adds: “Turner Sports, CBS Sports and the NCAA are committed to providing the excitement of March Madness on as many screens as possible – television, online, mobile and tablets – for viewers to experience all of the exciting action of this great event wherever they are.”