College basketball fans can now watch March Madness games live over their Apple iPhone, and for the first time, using AT&T’s advanced 3G network. The application was developed in partnership with MLB Advanced Media, which has built an extensive streaming video platform in house.
The new CBS iPhone application is now available on iTunes for purchase and promises to reach twice as many fans.
A free “lite” version, which is sponsored by Microsoft, provides on-demand video highlights from every game, live scores and news coverage. CBS will also launch a free version for BlackBerry phones, which will be sponsored by Mercedes Benz, but it won’t have live video or on-demand clips. The only other live video will be available on AT&T’s FLO TV service, which will get all 63 games. AT&T is the exclusive wireless partner of the NCAA, so Verizon Wireless’ FLO TV service will be limited to general coverage that’s available on CBS. The opening round game is March 16.
The new iPhone app will also provide live radio broadcasts from Westwood One throughout the entire tournament and push alerts to the phone to alert fans if a particular game has gone into overtime or if there’s a potential upset in the making. This was not possible last year.
Both the free and paid apps will have an interactive tournament bracket that updates with real-time scores, plus news and the ability to send comments to both Facebook and Twitter.