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CBS to stream March Madness games live to the iPhone

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
CBS Sports announced Thursday plans to stream NCAA March Madness basketball games live to Apple's iPhone and iPod touch through a new application, but with a WiFi-only requirement and price tag of $4.99, many fans may choose to watch tournament for free on their Mac, PC, or big TV.

The app will feature a real-time graphical bracket with game match-ups, regions, and scores. Upon the completion of each game, video highlights will be available on demand. Meanwhile, stat junkies might enjoy the CBSSports.com Edge Matchup game previews with full team-by-team analysis and matchup comparisons. Breaking tournament news will also be available through the app along with the standard box scores, game recaps, and team stats.

The video streams themselves won't be relegated to "alternate view" camera angles that have become customary for other sporting events. Instead, CBS said it will deliver full broadcasts and play-by-play in sync with their network television broadcasts, which of course will include commercial breaks. However, users must have access to WiFi in order to watch the video. A 3G or EDGE connection will only receive streaming audio of the game.

"As long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, you can see the games wherever you go - at work, on the road, at the stadium or even at home," CBS said in a widely syndicated press release on the initiative. "Catch the college basketball upsets and buzzer beaters as they happen, no matter where you are."

The network warns that the app will expire at the conclusion of the NCAA tournament on April 6, at which point users will likely need to trash it from their home screens to avoid wasting precious screen real estate. Meanwhile, reasons behind the WiFi-only restriction aren't entirely clear given that CBS has demonstrated the ability to stream full television shows over over 3G through its recently introduced CBS Interactive iPhone app. Possibilities would presumable include intervention from the NCAA, AT&T, CBS Mobile itself, or technical restrictions such as streaming quality, especially on EDGE.



Since users must be close to a wireless network, and few are likely to have access "on the road" or "at the stadium," college basketball fans may opt for free streaming video on their computers instead, saving the $5 and watching on a larger screen. In this scenario, the only viable reason for purchasing the app appears to be a method for avoiding the virtual waiting room during heavy demand.



Viewers choosing their computer may be interested to learn that a new high-quality stream is available for this year's tournament utilizing the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in, which is being pushed as an alternative to Flash. And, of course, there are always the sports fans who will prefer to watch in HD on their televisions.

The iPhone and iPod touch March Madness on Demand app is available now in the App Store ($4.99).
post #2 of 6
Hey, who's gonna spend $5 for this app?

Man, this is becoming more like pay per view!
post #3 of 6
Quote:
The app will feature a real-time graphical bracket with game match-ups, regions, and scores. Upon the completion of each game, video highlights will be available available on demand.

This is confusing... Highlights? Not live streaming video?... or is it live streaming video plus highlights after the game?

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

This is confusing... Highlights? Not live streaming video?... or is it live streaming video plus highlights after the game?

The highlights will be available on demand after the game, but you will be able to watch the game live via streaming video.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by CU10 View Post

Hey, who's gonna spend $5 for this app?

Man, this is becoming more like pay per view!

Of course. CBS is hoping that all the basketball fans will pay for it so they can make more money. I am sure most diehard fans will pay for it.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Of course. CBS is hoping that all the basketball fans will pay for it so they can make more money. I am sure most diehard fans will pay for it.

Or those of us who are going to be stuck at work while our teams play and we work at big enough companies where they block ALL of it (including streaming radio content). This is great for me, there's wi-fi in range so it's either bring in my laptop or just use my phone, hmm...
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