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FilmOn, the premium-content internet streaming site that met controversy earlier this year over lawsuits involving CBS (NYSE: CBS), CNET, and copyright, is expanding its line up, adding two new sports channels for NCAA Basketball and NCAA Football.
FilmOn says it will be offering the content in partnership with XOS Digital, a company that provides digital asset management services to college sports organizations. It already offers its own sports on-demand service, XOS Sports, in which it offers paid rentals and full downloads of college games.
FilmOn’s channels, already live, offer viewers live games as well as archived fixtures. Users also have the option of recording programs to watch later either over TV, Internet or mobile devices using iOS or Android apps, or to subscribe to HD versions of the channels for a monthly fee. FilmOn offers a combination of free channels and those that require a subscription to watch.
It’s not clear just how extensive FilmOn’s coverage of NCAA fixtures will be — will it include the championships and all divisions? — or how FilmOn’s services work in conjunction with other rights deals between the NCAA and other media outlets: ESPN (NYSE: DIS), for example, extended its rights for NCAA Basketball in the U.S. and internationally earlier this month. That deal included both broadcast and streaming rights.
We have contacted FilmOn for further clarification and will update this post as we learn more.
At the very least, the equal content offering seems to be something that FilmOn is trying to exploit for its own marketing purposes: “We are going head to head with the industry’s top sports programmers,” the company’s outspoken founder Alki David boasts in the news release announcing the deal.
Frankfurt-based, UK/Beverly Hills-operated FilmOn has steadily been building up its catalog of premium sports content: earlier this year the company launched an international soccer channel with the UK Premiership and the Football Association, which will kick off (pun!) with football games from the Russian Premier League.
Last year, it came under some controversy when it was accused by the four major broadcasters in the U.S. of violating copyright by showing their programs. It was served at the time with a temporary restraining order. It then fought back against CBS and CNET with suits of its own (later
dropped “put on hold” until November, David tells us.)