American network CBS will begin offering completely free online video coverage of the popular US college basketball tournament dubbed ‘March Madness’ starting this Thursday. For basketball fans worldwide this is excellent news because coverage will be available to anyone, anywhere, not just those in the USA. The tournament runs until March 24th.
CBS first started experimenting with online coverage of the tournament in 2003, but users had to pay $19.95 for the privilege. This year the coverage will instead be supported by advertising and sponsorship.
56 games are going to be made available and users will apparently be able to switch between different games as they are being broadcast. Users in the US will not be able to watch games that are being carried by their local CBS affiliate.
CBS are expecting high demand for the service and have created capacity for just over 250,000 simultaneous users. This would make it the largest online broadcasting event in history if this number is met. A queuing system will be employed if demand exceeds capacity, and users who register in advance will get to jump the line through a ‘VIP waiting room’.
I strongly recommend registering if this interests you since NCAA basketball is especially popular in the States and is admired for its flair and excitement over its professional and more conservative counterpart, the NBA. Students who do well in the tournament typically go on to become hot property among teams in the professional league. It’s great viewing actually.