By : Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 08 Mar 2010
CBS Sports Mobile, a division of CBS Corp., March 8 said it would offer both free and premium applications for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch for this month’s NCAA “March Madness” college basketball national championship tournament from March 16 to April 5.
The free app provides live scores, player stats, previews, video highlights and recaps, among other features.
The premium app ($9.99) (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cbs-sports-mobile/id356988414?mt=8) offers live video of each game in real time.
CBS Mobile is also offering live video of the men's basketball championship through the CBS Mobile Channel on FLO TV. AT&T subscribers of the FLO TV service can watch live video of all 63 games of the tournament.
CBS, which is televising the March Madness on network TV, also will offer live and repurposed game telecasts on demand on the Internet.
CBS offered streams of March Madness On Demand from 2003 to 2005 as a $15 subscription service that attracted 20,000 users. In 2006, MMOD was offered as a free ad-supported service that garnered 1.3 million users and $4 million in revenues. Ad revenue increased to $10 million in 2007 and $23 million in 2008, the first year users were not required to register to download the video player.
Through 2007, MMOD streamed 56 games of the tournament, and all 63 games last year.
CBS said unique users of the MMOD video player increased 60% to 5.6 million in 2009, which surpassed unique user traffic for the entire 2008 tournament.
“Last year, CBS Sports Mobile witnessed a huge appetite for mobile video when we were the first to stream live sports events over the iPhone, and this year, by including Wi-Fi and 3G, we expect that appetite — and audience — to grow even more,” said Rob Gelick, SVP and GM, CBS Mobile.