Bold, admirable move on the part of CBS and its advertisers: The network will stream every game of the NCAA March Madness tournament online. All 63 games will be available to all Web users — a significant expansion from last year, where the network only streamed the first 56 games live, and blacked out match-ups in TV markets where the games were carried by local affiliates.
The NCAA tournament has been one of CBS’s most successful forays on the web, drawing nearly 1.4 million users last year. And putting the games online is one of those moves that’s incredibly sensible, yet hard for big media companies to pull off: Most online viewing goes on at work, so it’s hard to argue that the Web will cannibalise TV audiences. And anyone who could watch the games on TV instead of a PC is obviously going to do so.
CBS also linked up formally with Facebook for a bracket application. WSJ said CBS sold $10 million in ads related to digital extensions for the tournament.
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