For younger viewers, the NCAA Tournament seemingly never existed without March Madness Live and, for 2018, the streaming service that allows fans to take in every single second of the action will have a new feature. The NCAA announced on Monday that this year’s product will include a streaming channel called Fast Break, presented by AT&T and Lowe’s. The channel will essentially provide coverage in a style similar to that of RedZone for avid NFL fans.
According to a release, the channel “will include live streaming whip-around coverage of every tournament game during the first two full days of tournament action, switching from game-to-game with live look-ins, quick turnaround highlights, and commentary on behalf of all the games.” Beyond that, there is a social media component and, while this certainly has the possibility of becoming an overwhelming viewing experience for some, it follows the model of providing all-inclusive content that will peak in frenzied fashion, especially through the always jam-packed first weekend of the festivities.
Until the last decade, college basketball fans (and casual viewers that simply enjoy the NCAA Tournament) were almost entirely beholden to the choices of the national carrier, CBS Sports, which often produced underwhelming options for those in markets where blowouts were in progress.
Since 2011, though, CBS and Turner have partnered on the broadcast rights, airing every single game in full on various networks. This particular innovation takes things to a new level and provides a fast-paced option without the need for multiple screens or furious channel-flipping.
It remains to be seen as to how this particular streaming channel will be fully utilized but, given the high marks given to the NFL’s RedZone experience on an annual basis, this feels like the right move for the 2018 sporting landscape.