[03/14/06 - 12:00 AM]
CBS Sports and Apple Offer 2006 Ncaa(R) Men's Basketball Tournament on Itunes Music Store

[via press release from CBS]


Condensed Versions of All 63 Games from CSTV Available with New iTunes �Season Pass� For Just $19.99

NEW YORK and CUPERTINO, California -- March 14, 2006 -- CBS Sports and Apple today announced they will bring the 2006 NCAA� Division I Basketball Championship distributed by CBS Corporation's College Sports TV (CSTV) (www.cstv.com) to the iTunes Music Store ( www.itunes.com). For the first time ever, college basketball fans can pay $1.99 per game for condensed versions of all the 2006 NCAA Men�s Division I Basketball Championship games. Customers can also choose the new �Season Pass� feature on iTunes for $19.99, and receive condensed versions of all 63 games the day after they are played for viewing on a computer or iPod. Full-length versions of this year�s semifinals and championship game, as well as compilations of buzzer beaters, upsets and memorable championship games from past NCAA Tournaments will also be available on iTunes.

The new �Season Pass� feature on iTunes is the easiest way to purchase the entire 2006 NCAA Tournament package. Every game will automatically be placed in a customer�s download queue the day after it airs on CBS. Customers will be notified about new game highlights as they become available via email, and can be downloaded once they log into iTunes.

In its first major deal since being acquired by CBS, and as a part of the Company�s strategy to enhance its relationship with college sports fans, CSTV, in partnership with CBS Sports, will produce the condensed versions of CBS Sports� broadcasts. CSTV also will provide expert analysis and commentary on each game of the package, as well as utilize its vast collection of 250 college sports web sites to market the service to sports fans all over the country.

�While CBS Sports' coverage of the NCAA Men�s Division I Basketball Championship remains the centerpiece of the NCAA� 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, CBS News and Sports. "This was how CBS envisioned the future when we made the unprecedented bundled rights deal with the NCAA that began in 2003.�

�We�re thrilled to bring all of the 2006 NCAA Tournament action to college basketball fans on iTunes,� said 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.�

�Having the ability to watch condensed versions of every tournament game on your iPod brings a unique, new dimension to the NCAA� March Madness� experience,� said Brian Bedol, President and CEO, CSTV. �The ability to watch �games-to-go� that fans otherwise might have missed as their favorite teams travel down the Road to the Final Four� is a great example of how CSTV continues to innovate and improve the college sports fan�s experience.�

The new highlight packages will feature condensed versions of all the games of the 2006 NCAA Men�s Division I Basketball Championship, as well as full-length versions of the national semifinals and championship game. In addition, Thought Equity (www.thoughtequity.com), in conjunction with CSTV, is producing compilations of buzzer beaters, upsets and memorable championship games, which are included in classic game packages. Among those games are Duke�s win over Kentucky in 1992 on Christian Laettner�s last-second shot in the regional final; Jim Valvano�s North Carolina State team that shocked Houston to win the 1983 NCAA Championship; North Carolina�s victory over Georgetown from Michael Jordan�s game-winning basket in 1982 to win the championship title; and Syracuse�s freshman sensation Carmelo Anthony leading his team over Kansas to its first ever championship title in 2003.

With Apple�s legendary ease of use, pioneering features such as integrated video and Podcasting support, iMix playlist sharing, seamless integration with iPod and groundbreaking personal use rights, the iTunes Music Store is the best way for Mac and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music and videos online. The iTunes Music Store features a selection of over 3,500 music videos, Pixar and Disney short films, a variety of hit TV shows, and more than two million songs from the major music companies and over 1,000 independent labels.

Pricing & Availability

iTunes 6 for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Music Store and is available as a free download from www.apple.com/itunes. Purchase and download of songs and videos from the iTunes Music Store requires a valid credit card with a billing address in the country of purchase. Television shows are available in the U.S. only, and video availability varies by country. Television shows are $1.99 (US) per episode, and music videos and short films are $1.99 (US) each.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning desktop and notebook computers, OS X operating system, and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital music revolution with its iPod portable music players and iTunes online music store.

CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company with constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry, as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and UPN), cable television (Showtime and CSTV Networks), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Paramount Television and King World), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), theme parks (Paramount Parks), digital media (CBS Digital Media Group and CSTV Networks) and consumer products (CBS Consumer Products). In Fall 2006, UPN will cease operations and The CW, a new fifth broadcast television network, will launch as a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation. For more information, log on to www.cbscorporation.com.

CSTV Networks, Inc., now part of the CBS Corporation, is the leading digital and cable programming company dedicated to college sports. Connecting more fans to more college sports than any other company, its many platforms for programming distribution include CSTV: College Sports TV, televising regular-season and championship events for 35 men's and women's college sports; CSTV.com and its network of nearly 250 official athletic sites; CSTV All Access, broadband services providing live audio and video of more than 7,000 events annually; as well as satellite television and radio, in-flight entertainment, wireless networks and more. Further information is available at www.CSTV.com.

The NCAA is a membership-led non-profit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 360,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 49,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Division I, II and III sports. For more information, go to www.ncaa.org.

Thought Equity is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, manages and licenses the NCAA footage archive. Thought Equity is a world wide supplier of motion content licensing and management to the entertainment, creative and corporate production industries. The company�s site, www.thoughtequity.com, is the premier resource for production professionals who need instant access to the world�s finest film and HD content for their broadcast, cable, wireless and other new media productions and programs. For more information about Thought Equity, visit www.thoughtequity.com.

  [march 2006]  

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