Turner Sports Converting March Madness Live To Complete Authentication Model
Turner Sports is shifting its digital coverage of the upcoming NCAA men's basketball tournament to a complete user authentication/TV Everywhere model, eliminating the $3.99 all-access option that served as a supplement to last year's version of March Madness Live. This year's product will be available for free across PC, smartphone and tablet platforms, but only by authenticating with users' TV service provider information. Those who cannot or will not authenticate will be able to access a free four-hour preview of MML. No registration is required for live streaming of tournament games shown on CBS. Turner began the user authentication structure last year for MML, its first year it rebranded the digital coverage from its prior name March Madness On Demand, and made no secret of its preference for users to do that as opposed to buying the all-access pass. This year's structure for MML represents a further embrace of the TV Everywhere model. The other major change for MML this year is the addition of Bleacher Report, now owned by Turner, as a launch site for the tournament coverage in addition to traditional destinations NCAA.com and CBSSports.com. New MML apps will be released to iTunes App Store and Google Play early next month.