The developers of the NCAA March Madness Live app frequently hear two complaints – the inability to watch multiple games at once and lags between TV shows and streaming.
They have fixed one of these issues and hope to have made improvements to the other.
This year’s app update will allow multiple games to be viewed on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google TV, and Xbox One for the first time. There is also a picture-in-picture option for those accessing it on mobile, desktop, or tablet.
As for latency issues, Turner says there will be a 20% improvement over last year. Even with that, the common stream has a 10-15 second lag.
Hania Poole, senior vice president of digital at Turner Sports, said the focus is on engaging fans, whether through pools, stats or on-demand highlights.
“It’s always been fan-centric and fan-first and really tries to push the boundaries of new technologies and new interactive experiences. Sometimes they were amazing and kept going,” she said. “We’re not a year-round streaming platform. We’ve really been up for three weeks, more or less, and we need to continue to differentiate our experiences.
Poole said the biggest breakthrough they’ve made is that more people are watching on connected devices rather than mobile. The app will be available on 18 platforms this year, including select LG TVs for the first time.
March Madness Live is available throughout the tournament for those with a pay TV subscription. Those with YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, DirecTV Stream or Sling TV can also access it.
A few other things to know about this year’s tournament:
HOW IS THE CALENDAR BREAK DOWN?
CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV will have first and second round matches.
CBS and TBS also host the regional semi-finals and finals. TBS will have two regional finals on March 26, and CBS will take over the next day.
WHO HAS THE FINAL FOUR THIS YEAR?
TBS has the national semifinals on April 2 and the championship game two nights later for the first time since 2018. The network was supposed to have it in 2020 before the tournament was postponed due to COVID-19.
This is the fifth Final Four aired by TBS under its deal with CBS. It aired the semi-finals in 2014 and 2015 before airing the semi-finals and title match in 2016 and 2018.
WHAT IS THE DISTRIBUTION OF GAMES?
CBS and TBS will have 21 games each. TNT has 12 first- and second-round matches while truTV has 13, including the first four.
WHERE IS THE TOP CREW THIS WEEK?
Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and journalist Tracy Wolfson are together for their seventh NCAA Tournament. They are in Greenville, South Carolina, Friday and Sunday.
Duke, which includes outgoing coach Mike Krzyzewski, is in Greenville this weekend.
WHAT’S NEW IN THE COVER THIS SEASON?
The coaches will be interviewed during the Under-12 and Under-8 minute media time-outs in the second half. This change has been underway for a few years and has been delayed due to COVID-19 protocols.
It’s similar to the NBA coaches interviewed at the end of the first and third quarters.
ARE THERE ANY MAJOR ADDITIONS TO CBS AND TBS THIS YEAR?
Most importantly, Rex Chapman is part of studio coverage in Atlanta for the first two weeks. Chapman was originally supposed to be a studio commentator in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the tournament.
“I’m like a kid in the candy store. I still can’t believe it. We all have such fond memories and are so attached to our programs, our schools and the NCAA,” Chapman said.
Chapman was a standout guard at Kentucky and a 12-year NBA veteran. He will also host a new show on the CNN+ streaming service when it launches on March 29.
Reggie Miller returns as a commentator with Kevin Harlan and Dan Bonner after not appearing in the tournament last year.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST QUESTION DURING THE FIRST WEEK?
What channel is truTV?
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