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Much was made last year of CBSsports.com’s introduction of expanded on-demand coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. CBS plans much more this year.
Over 200 websites took advantage last year of the ability to partner with CBS to embed their on-demand video player. Over 4 million unique viewers accessed some portion of the NCAA Tournament online through the CBS platform.
CBS is hoping that number will explode this year though the development of tools for the blogging community;
Available starting March 10, the suite will allow developers to choose from an array of professional content from CBS Sports and add it to their site or blog. Options include applications dedicated solely to brackets, live scores, news or each of the Division I Men’s Basketball programs, all offering links that give direct access to the NCAA March Madness on Demand video player.
“NCAA March Madness on Demand has become much more than a CBSSports.com and NCAA production, it’s now an event that the whole Internet is embracing,” said Jason Kint, Senior Vice President and General Manager, CBSSports.com. “With increased distribution across the CBS Interactive network of sites, now a top-10 Web property globally, NCAA March Madness on Demand will again have extremely positive growth in 2009 as we take the games to the fans, wherever they want to watch.”
CBS seems to have learned what many other media outlets have not…that when you own the rights to an event as large as the NCAA Tournament, there are business opportunities available in partnerships with other media entities. Apparently CBS understands that the number of eyeballs viewing the tournament on-demand online can translate to increased revenue.