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March Madness on YouTube

16 Mar, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Viacom Inc. may be suing YouTube (and parent Google Inc.) $1 billion for alleged copyright infringement, but sister company CBS Corp. is playing hoops with the social networking site.

Through the April 2 NCAA Division 1 men's basketball national championship game, CBS, on a special YouTube channel, will offer daily ad-supported video clips and highlights in real time from college basketball's annual “March Madness” tournament.

Pontiac, a division of General Motors Corp., is sponsoring the YouTube coverage.

Acquired last year by Google for $1.65 billion, YouTube reportedly streams about 70 million videos daily.

In addition to game footage and links to the NCAA site and other CBS sports properties, the CBS Sports NCAA Tournament Channel will include press conferences and related video compiled by CBS Sports, CBS SportsLine and College Sports Television (CSTV), which is owned by CBS.

Throughout the tournament, YouTube viewers will be encouraged to select their favorite “game changing performance,” with the winning school receiving a $100,000 general scholarship.

“Through this agreement, CBS is monetizing its content on the Internet and proving that world-class programming can help bring brand-name advertisers to online platforms,” said Sean McManus, president, CBS Sports and News.

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