TiVo, blah blah, TiVo, blah blah blah. Let’s move on to something important, like March Madness.
With the best month in college basketball kicking into gear, I thought I’d take a look at my options for following all of the NCAA action. First up is the official March Madness On Demand Player from CBS Sports. The powers that be keep adding features to the MMOD player, and no wonder. CBS brings in tens of millions in revenue, and last year streamed roughly 6.5 million hours of March Madness video. New this year, CBS Sports is adding a picture-in-picture feature and real-time overlay stats. As before, you can choose between Silverlight and Flash players (Silverlight for higher quality video), listen to Westwood One radio broadcasts, and access game highlights and archives.
Speaking of archives, the NCAA has also launched its own site, the NCAA Vault, with a library of archived tournament games from the last decade. Need to get in the mood for a big game, or engage in a little trash talking? You can use the site to find clips of your favorite teams and players of yesteryear, and the Vault includes integration with Facebook and Twitter so you can post links to specific time codes and share your favorite blocks, dunks, and fast breaks. (Kudos to Thought Equity Motion, which powers the service.)
Of course if you’re in front of your TV at home, not only can you watch this year’s games live, but you can also see March Madness highlights via numerous VOD sources. Last year the major cable and telco providers got into the game with VOD offerings, and presumably this year will be no different.
Which brings us to mobile. CBS debuted a March Madness iPhone app last year for viewing live games. It only works over Wi-Fi, which has its drawbacks, but at least it’s something. So far, however, there doesn’t appear to be an Android complement. I’ve found a couple Android apps for tracking scores (NCAA Basketball Scoreboards, and the free College Basketball Live), and a company call Pure Concepts just launched a PocketBracket app for the iPhone (an updated version) and Android devices (new) today. Unfortunately, live Android streaming looks like a no-go. What, me worried? Nah, I’ll make do with my TV and netbook. Bring on the Madness!