iTunes to Get NCAA Championship Games

CBS Sports and Apple yesterday said they would be bringing the 2006 NCAA Division I Basketball Championship to the iTunes Music Store in the form of condensed versions of each game. These games will be available for download for $1.99 per game or $19.99 for all 63 via the new “Season Pass” feature, which automatically places each game in a download queue to be delivered to a subscriber’s computer.

Each game, said Apple and CBS Sports, will be available for download and viewing the day after it is played. Besides condensed versions of all of the games, full-length versions of the National Semifinals and Championship Game, as well as compilations of buzzer beaters, upsets and memorable championship games, will be made available via iTunes also.

“While CBS Sports’ coverage of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship remains the centerpiece of the March Madness experience, iTunes is a great way for viewers to catch games they miss or to keep their favorite moments for viewing on their iPod,” said Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports, in a statement. “This was how CBS envisioned the future when we made the bundled rights deal with the NCAA in 2003.”

“We’re thrilled to bring all of the 2006 NCAA Tournament action to college basketball fans on iTunes,” added Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “With the new ‘Season Pass’ feature, fans can purchase and view highlights from every tournament game the day after it airs for just $1.99 per game or $19.99 for the whole tournament.”