CBSSports.com drops registration requirement for NCAA March Madness on Demand

CBSSports.com, in partnership with CBS Sports, CBS College Sports Network and the NCAA, has dropped its registration requirements for NCAA March Madness on Demand, giving immediate access to the video player to a large network of sites across the Internet.

CBSSports.com has created a Developer Platform, located at http://www.ncaa.com/mmod/developer, giving sites all the necessary tools and information to link directly to live streaming video from one of the world’s most popular sporting events.

NCAA March Madness on Demand will be available at NCAA.com (mmod.ncaa.com) as well as links on CBSSports.com, the CBS Audience Network, sites for CBS television and radio affiliates, online video leader YouTube, other major sports websites such as ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports and SI.com and leading social sites like Facebook.

The NCAA March Madness on Demand promotion on Facebook is part of the recently launched “CBSSports.com Tournament Brackets” application on Facebook Platform. Located at www.facebook.com/brackets, CBSSports.com Tournament Brackets is available to the site’s more than 67 million active users both online and via CBS Sports Mobile, creating a cross platform experience for all NCAA basketball fans that should drive tremendous traffic to NCAA March Madness on Demand.

“By allowing major sports, video and social communities across the Internet a direct connection to our NCAA March Madness on Demand video we are giving millions of sports fans around the world access to the tournament when they want it and where they want it,” said Jason Kint, Senior Vice President and General Manager, CBSSports.com. “This immediate, one-click access to the video player should greatly increase viewership, offering tremendous value to the over 30 advertisers associated with this product in 2008, including presenting sponsors and NCAA Corporate Champions AT&T, Coca-Cola and Pontiac.”

“Getting as many people involved in March Madness as possible is obviously an important goal for the NCAA,” said Greg Shaheen, the Association’s senior vice president for basketball and business strategies. “The more fans that have direct access to March Madness on Demand through the web site of their choice expands our reach exponentially and continues to grow the impact of the championship in ways never before possible.”

2008 marks the first year that CBSSports.com will allow users to view the live streaming video of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship without having to register for the product. Previously, all fans wanting to view NCAA March Madness on Demand had to be registered users of CBSSports.com.

With expectations that open access to NCAA March Madness on Demand will create record demand for the product, CBSSports.com is again urging fans to sign up to obtain VIP status. Fans that don’t have VIP status will be placed in the General Admission area where they will experience longer wait times to get into the NCAA March Madness on Demand player if it is full on game day(s). At present, over half of the 500,000 VIP passes have been taken.

As was previously announced, 2008 will also mark the first time that NCAA March Madness on Demand will give users the ability to view all 63 games of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, from the first round of the tournament through the Men’s Final Four in San Antonio, including the Championship game. NCAA March Madness on Demand also will give users the option to listen to live play-by-play audio from Westwood One Radio for all games of the tournament, including the Opening Round game on March 18.

Since its inception in 2003, NCAA March Madness on Demand has traditionally provided live video of 56 games from the first round through the regional semifinals of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship as they are broadcast by CBS Sports, with local broadcasts being subject to blackouts.