CBS Will Sell Condensed, Full-length Versions Of March Madness Games On iTunes

Call it March Money Madness. CBS is pulling out the stops to make new media money with the NCAA Div.1 men’s basketball tournament. In addition to ad-supported streaming online, CBS will sell next-day condensed versions of the games on iTunes — $1.99 per game or $19.99 for a season pass that covers all 63 games. CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus: “This was how CBS envisioned the future when we made the unprecedented bundled rights deal with the NCAA that began in 2003.”

CSTV will produce the condensed versions, including analysis and commentary for each game. CSTV’s college sports network of nearly 250 official sites will be a primary tool for marketing the games. CSTV was acquired by CBS last year.

The CBS-NCAA library on iTunes also will include compilations of buzzer beaters, upsets and memorable games produced by Thought Equity with CSTV.

Update: Full-length versions of the semifinals and the championship game also will be on iTunes. Meanwhile, iTunes is offering a free 17-minute preview show from CSTV.
Once again, the false equality of iTunes $1.99 pricing creates some oddities — an 8:18 reel of upsets costs the same as a game from this year’s tournament.

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