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NCAA March Madness to Reach 16 Platforms

NCAA March Madness Live, a suite of streaming products developed by Turner Sports in partnership with the CBS and the NCAA,  will stream live games and deliver other content from this year’s Division I men’s college basketball tournament across a record 16 platforms.

Platform support for this year's tourney includes iOS and Android mobile devices, Apple TV and Apple Watch, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku players and Roku TVs, web browsers, select mobile VR systems, and the Xbox One gaming console.

iStreamPlanet, the OTT video company acquired by Turner in 2015, will again provide the live streaming infrastructure, and support up to 60 frames per second.

Turner Sports, CBS and NCAA said they, for an eighth consecutive year, will provide live coverage of all 67 tournament games across four national television networks – TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV – as well as via NCAA March Madness Live.

Among new features is Fast Break, which will include live streaming “whip-around” coverage of every tournament game during its first two days, as well as real-time analysis and “social reaction.” AT&T and Lowe’s are on board as sponsors.

NCAA March Madness Live will also support a VR experience, powered by Intel’s True VR platform, in the Oculus Store and in the Google Play store for mobile virtual reality headset platforms such as the Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream.

The March Madness Live app for Apple TV will also support a multi-game feature that lets fans watch up to three live games at the same time.

The digital offering will also feature “excitement alerts,” live game scoring and direct access to live radio broadcasts, from Westwood One, for all 67 tournament games.

They’ll also be adding a dose of A.I. for the associated Bracket Challenge Game, which will provide personalized push notifications tied to live game coverage to help fans keep tabs on their bracket performance, and tap into Bracket IQ (a system powered by Google Cloud) to provide data analytics on picks and bracket trends throughout the tourney.