NCAA tourney hits iTunes

iTunes mania will meet March Madness mania this week when CBS Sports makes condensed versions of NCAA Division I basketball championship games and full-length versions of the semifinal and championship game available for download.

Games will cost $1.99 each or fans can pay $19.99 and receive condensed versions of all 63 games the day after they’re played. CSTV, in conjunction with Thought Equity, will produce the condensed versions of CBS Sports’ broadcasts and also provide expert analysis and commentary on each game of the package, as well as utilize its vast collection of 250 college sports web sites to market the service to sports fans all over the country.

“While CBS Sports’ coverage of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship remains the centerpiece of the March Madness experience, iTunes is a great way for viewers to catch games they miss or to keep their favorite moments for viewing on their iPod,” said Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports. “This was how CBS envisioned the future when we made the bundled rights deal with the NCAA in 2003.”

“Having the ability to watch condensed versions of every tournament game on your iPod brings a unique, new dimension to the NCAA March Madness experience,” said Brian Bedol, president and CEO of CSTV. “The ability to watch ‘games-to-go’ that fans otherwise might have missed as their favorite teams travel down the Road to the Final Four is a great example of how CSTV continues to innovate and improve the college sports fan’s experience.”