CBS Will Charge Fans For March Madness Online AccessBy: Drew Bowling - February 17, 2012
March Madness is looming o’er the heads of college basketball fans so it’s time to begin strategerizing how to watch as much of the NCAA tournament as possible. At least in the beginning of the Madness, many games will be played and broadcast at the same time, creating a conflict of interest when it comes to picking a game. In previous years, savvy basketball fans have multi-tasked games by watching one on the television and another game online since streaming games was freely available on CBS’s website.
While ideal, such a tactic might come with a little price tag this year as CBS has decided to make a little extra money off of people who enjoy watching sports. In order to stream games live on CBS, ball fans will have to cough up $3.99 in order to gain online access.
How this paywall will affect different games and different devices is a bit murky. People who already subscribe to cable will need to verify their subscription through CBS’s website if they want to watch a game that’s airing on TNT, TBS, and TruTV. However, if a game is airing live on CBS, then no passwords will be required to watch the game online on CBS’s website. Lastly, if you don’t subscribe to cable yet you want to catch some of those other games that aren’t airing live on CBS’s website, that’s when you’ll have to pay up the $3.99.
If you have plans to watch any of these games online via mobile device, you’re out of luck because you’ll have to pay the fee outright.
Variety points out that this isn’t the first time CBS has tried to rake in some extra money from March Madness. From 2003 to 2006, CBS charged $15 for fans to get online access to games. So what’s total access to NCAA Tournament coverage worth to you? Any of you okay with paying a few extra dollars in order to gain access to all the games you would otherwise miss? Let your voice be heard in the comments below.