Bigger and Better in 2007: CBS's NCAA® March Madness® on Demand
Live video of the 2007 NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship at no charge
Double bandwidth capacity, larger video screen mark upgrades for 2007
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, March 6, 2007 - CBS SportsLine, a leading Internet sports media organization and part of CBS Interactive, in partnership with CBS Sports, CSTV and the NCAA® today launched their NCAA® March Madness® on Demand (MMOD) service. MMOD is the online player that provides live streaming video from 56 games* beginning with the first round of the NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship as they are broadcast by CBS Sports (game action only) and is offered completely free of charge.
NCAA® March Madness® on Demand is available at NCAAsports.com (www.ncaasports.com/mmod) as well as via MMOD links on CBS SportsLine.com and CSTV.com. In 2006, MMOD was presented free of charge for the first time since its debut in 2003, producing tremendous traffic results with over 19 million video streams and five million visits, resulting in one of the largest live Internet events ever and one many experts called a watershed moment in media history.
To accommodate an even greater audience in 2007, CBS SportsLine has doubled the bandwidth capacity for MMOD. However, in order to effectively control a massive anticipated peak in demand during Thursday and Friday, March 15 and 16, access to the MMOD video player will be carefully managed using a "virtual waiting room." If demand exceeds peak capacity on the 15th, 16th or at any other point of the tournament virtual lines will form.
To have the best opportunity to view live streaming video from the NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship, fans are urged to pre-register for MMOD to obtain VIP status. Fans that don't have VIP status will be placed in the General Admission area where they will experience longer wait times to get into the MMOD player if it is full on game day(s). At present time, roughly half of MMOD's 2007 VIP inventory has been reserved and demand will only increase as the tournament approaches.
While supplies last, fans can obtain VIP access to MMOD at CBS SportsLine.com (cbs.sportsline.com/mmod) as well as NCAAsports.com (www.ncaasports.com/mmod).
"March Madness on Demand maximizes the Network's NCAA bundled rights and the full range of assets of the CBS Corporation," said Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports. "This new distribution of CBS Sports' game coverage, promoted by CSTV and available via CBS SportsLine.com and NCAAsports.com, has proven to build on the total NCAA championship experience for NCAA basketball fans everywhere."
"March Madness on Demand is one of the most successful initiatives that the NCAA and the CBS Corporation has implemented when you couple evolving technology and the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship," said Greg Shaheen, senior vice president for basketball and business strategies at the NCAA. "We continue to pursue new ways of growing the championship and our fan base. March Madness on Demand allows the NCAA and CBS to deliver the championship to a new technologically-savvy audience that previously may not have had the opportunity to view the championship."
"Coming off a record success with MMOD in 2006, we're excited about the upgrades to the product this year that will not only deliver a superior experience to our consumers but also provide tremendous value for our advertisers," said Steve Snyder, Chief Operating Officer, CBS Interactive. "Our goal is for MMOD to be year-in and year-out the bellwether online video event by which all others are judged."
Features of the 2007 NCAA® March Madness® on Demand video player:
NEW! Larger MMOD Video Screen: In 2006, the MMOD video player screen measured 320 X 240 pixels. In 2007, the video screen has been enlarged to 480 X 360 pixels. (50% larger)
NEW! Live Radio Broadcasts: CBS SportsLine will provide streaming live audio from Westwood One's radio broadcasts of the first 56 games of the tournament via the MMOD player. These broadcasts will include the game that is being shown in each user's local CBS market (which is blacked-out on the MMOD video player).
NEW! At The Half: In 2007, CBS SportsLine will produce a LIVE halftime show for MMOD featuring CBS SportsLine's Jason Horowitz and a college coach (Norm Roberts, St. John's & TBD). Sponsored by AT&T, "At The Half" will start when the first game goes to halftime and continue all the way until the last game in that window returns to 2nd half action.
"Boss Button" - Back by popular demand, the "Boss Button" is the one feature every MMOD user in the workplace should know about. One click of the "Boss Button" and the live video action on the screen will be replaced by a silent readymade spread sheet!
Full Tournament Scoreboard & Live Brackets - Even while glued to the live video action, fans can follow all the games with the tournament scoreboard and brackets, both updated in real time, that are only a click away on the MMOD player.
Historical Tournament Highlights - Available beginning March 6th, MMOD will feature highlights from the past 25 years of CBS Sports' presentation of the NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
Archived Footage - Full-game archives will be available for all games of the first three rounds (through regional semis). Additionally, highlights packages will be available for all games. The MMOD player and archival footage will be accessible through April 10th.
"Buzzer Beaters" - For games that are particularly exciting and provide the great finishes fans are accustomed to seeing during NCAA® March Madness®, MMOD will provide links to the last two minutes (game clock) of action on an archived basis.
More Sports Video - Users will also have access to hours of sports video clips including CBS SportsLine's original NCAA basketball video program "In The Paint", hosted by Jason Horowitz.
Free access to NCAA® March Madness® on Demand is made possible by presenting sponsors Courtyard by Marriott® and Dell as well as a host of other sponsors, including AT&T, State Farm and Kraft.
CBS SportsLine has partnered with Akamai Technologies, Inc., the leading global service provider for accelerating content and business processes online, to provide video bandwidth support for NCAA® March Madness® on Demand.
Final 2006 NCAA® March Madness® on Demand (MMOD) Traffic Numbers:
MMOD served over 19 million streams of live and archived game action
MMOD recorded over five million visits during the tournament
A total of 1.3 million users registered for MMOD
To review the minimum system requirements for computers running the MMOD product, please visit the following page: www.ncaasports.com/mmod/faq* NCAA® March Madness® on Demand will offer live and on demand streaming video of 56 games of NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship games on an out-of-market basis, beginning with the first round through the regional semi-finals. Webcasts of games broadcast by CBS Sports in fans' local markets will be subject to blackouts. Local blackout rules will limit availability to 37 games for most people. MMOD will not show the Opening Round Game on March 13th.NCAA® March Madness® on Demand is only available to registered users of a CBS Interactive network Web site thirteen (13) years of age or older. There is no cost to register for any of the CBS Interactive network sites. Availability of NCAA® March Madness® on Demand is subject to capacity restrictions. Certain terms and restrictions apply.About CBS SportsLine
CBS SportsLine is at the leading edge of media companies providing Internet sports content, Fantasy sports and e-commerce. In addition to its flagship service, the company publishes the official Web sites of the NFL, and NCAA Sports. CBS SportsLine is a member of the CBS family and a part of CBS Interactive. For more information about CBS SportsLine.com and for the latest sports news, scores and expert analysis, please visit cbs.sportsline.com.