CBS Expands March Madness On Demand
CBSSports.com said today that it would no longer require users to register for its NCAA March Madness on Demand video.
The site has also launched a developer platform that will allow over 200 Web sites to carry live video of the 2008 men’s NCCA basketball tournament online. Some of the sites include Yahoo Sports, ESPN.com, SI.com, YouTube and Facebook, which will link directly to CBSSports.com live video.
"By allowing major sports, video and social communities across the Internet a direct connection to our NCAA March Madness on Demand video we are giving millions of sports fans around the world access to the tournament when they want it and where they want it," said Jason Kint, Senior Vice President and General Manager, CBSSports.com.
"This immediate, one-click access to the video player should greatly increase viewership, offering tremendous value to the over 30 advertisers associated with this product in 2008."
CBS is encouraging fans to sign up for VIP status. Those who don’t have VIP status will be placed in a general admission area where they will have longer wait times to get into the NCAA March Madness on Demand player if it is full. Currently more than half of the 500,000 VIP passes have been snapped up.
CBS has partnered with Facebook to allow users to fill out brackets for the tournament and to compare their brackets with other basketball fans on the site.
This year is the first time that CBS will allow fans to watch all 63 games on demand. Since its launch in 2003, NCAA March Madness on Demand provided live video of 56 games from the first round through the semifinals of the tournament
In 2007 1.3 million unique users viewed 2.5 million hours of live video of March Madness on Demand and 468,000 users registered for VIP status.