CBS launches March Madness online video player

CBS Sports officially took the wraps off of its NCAA March
Madness on Demand product, an online video player that will let NCAA
fans stream the first 56 games of the NCAA Division 1 Men s Basketball
Championship which begins on March 16.

The service has been around since 2003 but this year is the first time it will be free. Users will be able to access the games at NCAASports.com or via links from CBS Sportsline and CSTV.com.

CBS is taking some innovative steps to manage the potential flood of demand for bandwidth. On March 16 and17 access to the service will be done through a virtual waiting room where those waiting to access a game are cued up in the event of overflow. And fans that pre-register before March 16 obtain VIP status, giving them quicker access to games.

A number of other features will be included:

-Historical tournament highlights from the past 25 years will be available on March 7.

-Full tournament scoreboard and live brackets.

-A Boss Button so that fans at the office can hit one click and replace streaming video with a readymade spread sheet (a comforting feature for employees of New York city who work for Mayor Michael Bloomberg who recently fired someone for playing solitaire).

-Full game archives for all games of through the regional semis, although those who were in a blacked out area won t be able to watch the games until five days after it was played.

– Buzzer Beaters, links to the last two minutes of game action on an archived basis.

-Hours of original programming.