The developers of the NCAA March Madness Live app frequently hear two complaints — the inability to watch multiple games at once and lag times between television broadcasts and streaming.
They have fixed one of those issues and are hoping they made improvements on the other.
This year's update to the app will allow multigame viewing for the first time on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google TV, and Xbox One. There is also a picture-in-picture option for those accessing it on mobile, a desktop or a 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- to 15-second lag time.
Hania Poole, the senior vice president for digital at Turner Sports, said the biggest focus has been on engaging fans more, whether it is through pools, stats or on-demand highlights.
“It’s always been fan-centric and fan first and really trying to push the envelope on new technologies and new interactive experiences. Sometimes, they’ve been amazing and continued,” she said. “We’re not a streaming platform that kind of spans the entire year. We’re really up for three weeks, more or less, and we have to continue to differentiate our experiences.”
Poole said the biggest inroads they've made is that more people are watching on connected devices instead of mobile. The app will be available across 18 platforms this year, including select LG televisions for the first time.
March Madness Live is available throughout the tournament for those who have a pay television subscription. Those with YouTube TV, Hulu with live TV, DirecTV Stream or Sling TV subscription can also access it.
Some other things to know about this year's tournament:
HOW DOES THE SCHEDULE BREAK DOWN?
CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV will have first- and second-round games.
CBS and TBS also have the regional semifinals and finals. TBS will have two regional finals on March 26 and CBS will take over the following day.
WHO HAS THE FINAL FOUR THIS YEAR?
TBS has the April 2 national semifinals 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 that TBS has aired as part of its agreement with CBS. It aired the semifinals in 2014 and 2015 before carrying the semifinals and title game in 2016 and ’18.
WHAT IS THE BREAKDOWN OF GAMES?
CBS and TBS will have 21 games apiece. TNT has 12 first- and second-round games while truTV has 13, including the First Four.
WHERE IS THE TOP CREW THIS WEEK?
Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and reporter Tracy Wolfson are together for their seventh NCAA Tournament. They are in Greenville, South Carolina, on Friday and Sunday.
Duke, which features retiring coach Mike Krzyzewski, is in Greenville this weekend.
WHAT'S NEW TO COVERAGE THIS SEASON?
Coaches will be interviewed during under-12 and under-8 minute media timeouts in the second half. That change has been in the works for a couple of years and had been delayed due to COVID-19 protocols.
It is similar to NBA coaches being interviewed at the end of the first and third quarters.
ARE THERE ANY MAJOR ADDITIONS TO CBS AND TBS THIS YEAR?
The biggest one is Rex Chapman becoming a part of the studio coverage in Atlanta during 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 that. We all have such fond memories of and we’re 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 doing the tournament last year.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST QUESTION DURING THE FIRST WEEK?
What channel is truTV?
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