New 2013 ESPN Bracket Bound app for Smartphones and Tablets now available


It comes as no surprise that ESPN is reaching out to mobile users to offer leagues for users to enter for the upcoming NCAA Basketball Tournaments, but it is nice to know that there are features that will appeal to the diehard basketball fan as well as to people that only pay attention at this time of year.

The free “ESPN Bracket Bound” app, designed for use with both Android and Apple’s iOS mobile devices provides fans with the chance to enter both the Men’s and Women’s tournaments with either the ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge, presented by Allstate, Acura and Taco Bell or the ESPN Women’s Tournament Challenge presented by Capitol One.

The app also allows fans to participate in the ESPN College Hoops Pick’Em challenge that allows fans to predict the winner of each tournament match up, with bonus points for correctly picking games where the lower seeded team wins.

The app can be customized to allow fans to follow individual teams and specify games that they are interested in following by providing the scores and schedules. Other features of the ESPN Bracket Bound app include game clips, video analysis from ESPN’s college basketball experts and analysts, bracketology, game previews, recaps, analysis and highlights also provides several levels of support and information to help fans select their teams. Available for all fans is access to its college basketball experts and analysts. For members of ESPN Insider there are additional predictor and analysis tools available.

The tournaments are not just for bragging rights. When the Men’s tournament is over the top 1% are entered into a random drawing to win a $10,000 Best Buy Gift Card and the top 1% in the Women’s bracket will be in a drawing to take home a $5,000 card from Best Buy.

BuddyTV Seeks To Ease March Madness Viewing

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BuddyTV, a developer that creates apps that help provide television viewers with up to date guides of what is and will be on has updated its app to help viewers looking to chart out their March Madness viewing agenda.

With conferences just finishing their tournaments the NCAA selection committee will announce its selections on March 17 and then the chaos begins, along with the grousing about how tough your teams bracket is and how weak your arch rivals’ bracket looks.

To help fans sort through the various channels and times that the games will be played BuddyTV has developed the March Madness Quick List as a tool to help fans find their way and not miss games that they want to see.
The feature, part of an upgrade to its mobile app that is available for Android and iOS devices, will list all the upcoming game air times, channels and stations in chronological order as well as the few remaining regular season games as well.

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The app will update the schedule the day after games are finished to keep it up to date for users. It also has the ability to be customized so that fans can track the teams or conferences that interest them in the tournament including adding reminders in case you forget an important starting time.

The feature is part of the latest release of the free app that now has an updated user interface, a few bug fixes and support for Apple’s iPhone 5, as well as performance enhancements that has made it a speedier app to use.

The app lists not only broadcast television but also cable such as Comcast and Time Warner as well as Dish, Netflix, Hulu, iTunes and Amazon. There is also a web site that features information on the tournament as well as television news, program spoilers and other listings.

March Madness Online: Free, if You Have a Cable Contract

Once again, the epic sporting event known as March Madness, aka the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, will be available online for free… as long as you have a cable contract that includes the Turner channels.


Broadcast by both CBS and the Turner cabal of TNT, TBS and truTV, the tournament is probably the biggest online sports time-waster, given that the balance of games take place during the day on Thursday and Friday, March 21 and 22 this year. For the second year, all 67 games will be on TV, though sometimes that requires the challenge of actually finding the truTV channel on your cable box.

For online watchers, there will be the usual cable-system confirmation, which should allow you to watch on “the digital device of your choice,” according to the press release. There will also be a “preview option,” which will allow for up to four hours of online viewing for free — good if your team is a one and done.

Here’s some more goodness from the official press release:

This year’s NCAA March Madness Live® product offers several enhancements including:

— Redesigned for optimization across platforms – With improved navigation, NCAA March Madness Live® will have a completely new look and feel while also providing users with the same levels of access and a consistent user experience across all devices
— Available on new devices – NCAA March Madness Live® will be available on more devices than ever before including smart phones and tablets with the Android 4.0+ operating system, the iPhone 5 and iPad mini
— Capital One NCAA March Madness Bracket Challenge – The official bracket game of March Madness includes new designs and feature enhancements on smart phones and tablets, along with expanded social functionality across all devices allowing fans to join groups, share brackets and chat with friends and other passionate fans via Facebook
— Coke Zero NCAA March Madness Social Arena – A forum to extend the conversation surrounding all of the games within NCAA March Madness Live® products, fans can follow game and tournament tweets, participate in fan chats, watch the games and keep a pulse on all the key moments of every game via the Coke Zero NCAA March Madness Social Arena. Fans can participate in the social commentary by using the hashtag #marchmadness

Additionally, NCAA March Madness Live® will once again provide video highlights, full game replays and real-time game alerts, as well as fan-favorite features, including live game scoring, real-time tournament brackets, personal channel lineup features, live stats, live social companion views and the return of the “Boss Button.” Fans will have direct access to live radio broadcasts, courtesy of Westwood One/Dial Global Radio Network, for all 67 games across the collection of digital products.

Sounds good to us… may the best bracket win!

New College Sports Program Launches on Hulu

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If you get most of your sports information from the Internet and not from broadcast television then this is good news for you, digital sports media developer Perform and the Chicago White Sox’s Silver Chalice have launched another Total College Sports program.

The latest effort is called TCS 5th Quarter and it will consist of an initial run of 18 episodes, with a new one premiering every Saturday night from now until Jan. 12. Each episode will be 22 minutes long and will be distributed via Hulu and Hulu Plus service, ad-free.

The program is part of a growing number of offerings from Total College Sports, which includes both original programming and game highlights from a variety of college sports conferences including The ACC, Pac-12, SEC and the Big Ten.

This is really good news for fans of using second screens, either using their tablets or their smartphones they can watch the programming there as well as online and via a channel on ePlayer, Perform’s sports VOD broadcast platform that is distributed to over 350 media properties in the U.S.

Total College Sports was founded last year and is still finding its way in some respects. It currently carries NCAA football and basketball, so it falls a bit short of total sports. However it does carry a good set of highlights and has a team in place to provide analysis and news as well as the highlights.

ComScore: Mobile Devices 20 Percent of March Madness Online Viewing

By now you have probably seen a number of studies that show America loses $(your number here) amount of money due to loss of productivity due to people watching the March Madness at work. I think this study, highlighted by Mashable, is the more interesting one, how many people used mobile devices to watch games.

According to market researcher comScore 20% of online viewing occurred on either a smartphone or a tablet, a number that is roughly double the average for non-sporting events, the company’s comScore Device Essentials research showed.

There are a number of reasons to use a smartphone or a tablet to watch a game. It is easier to do so surreptitiously than on a computer screen, ability to watch multiple screens, traveling or just wanting to check in occasionally during some free time to catch up.

The increase of traffic by devices is very interesting. Compared to the three Thursday/Fridays prior to the tournament computer viewing of sports content was up 77%, surprisingly the weakest growth of the technologies surveyed.

Smartphone usage soared 83%, tablet use in viewing sports was up 94% and all others increased 78%. For use while viewing non sports content they all record minor decreases in the 1% to 4% range. As the study noted, the sports usage was not in place of usual viewing but was rather incremental consumption.

Whatever the reason this is a solid trend for major events with the most recent Super Bowl having a huge on-line presence, in part driven by mobile devices. I expect that the upcoming London Olympics will see mobile devices having an even greater impact as fans can catch events that might not be on broadcast television.

Now I would like to see a study on how many tablet and smartphone users massively went over their data plans and are either facing extra charges, throttling or both.

CBS and Lowe’s Team for March Madness Cube Contest

Do you have one of those so-called Super Fans in your office? You know the type- they always come in with a hangdog expression when their team loses a game. Some are one sports fans but most almost always include support for the NCAA March Madness Tournament.

Now all of their years adding team pennants, photos of their favorite coaches and pinning up headlines from newspapers talking about epic wins can pay off due to an event from and Lowe’s.

They have launched an event called March Madness Cube Mania for the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship that rewards a few select fans with the most rabid cubicle. The event runs from now until March 25th and calls for fans to decorate their cubes with their favorite teams’ colors and logos.

Once the decorations are finished all a fan has to do is take a tasteful photo of the cube and post it at the CBS Sports page on Facebook (Facebook/CBSSports).

In addition fans are encourage to share the images over social media such as Facebook and Twitter and to try and get their friends to vote. It would be good to ensure your friends are rooting for your teams first — or at least open to bribes.

The images will be sorted in a variety of manners including by most popular, teams represented and participating companies. After the closing day for submitting photos, March 25th, the polls open and will remain open from March 26 to March 30, 2012.

Three winners will be selected by a combination of public votes, and judging by the Social Media department at based on originality and creativity. Grand prize winner’s photo will be announced on March 31, 2012 during The Final Four Show on CBS and receive a $300 gift card to Lowe’s. Two secondary winners will receive $150 Lowe’s gift cards.

In addition the grand prize winning photo will be announced on CBS during The Final Four Show prior to the Men’s Final Four semifinal games on March 31, 2012 so your efforts will receive a brief national note. So as they used to say in Chicago ‘Vote early and vote often!’