TAYLOR’S TAKE ON THE WEEK IN SPORTS TECH: March Madness is back.
The annual college basketball tournament kicks off next week as millions around the country try to fill out the perfect bracket.
If you’re looking to stream live games when the first round action starts Thursday — it’s certainly a work distraction — you can access NCAA March Madness Live online or via apps for iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Windows 10, Xbox, and Roku. There is also support for Chromecast and AirPlay. Here’s the full schedule of games all the way to the championship on April 2.
Turner Sports and CBS will stream all 67 games across a record 16 platforms this year, including Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream. The streams do require a cable subscription authentication but there is a 3-hour preview period open to anyone. Turner’s iStreamPlanet product is powering the live streaming infrastructure.
You can also stream games on TBS, CBS, TNT, and truTV’s digital platforms, or other TV provider websites and apps.
Another option for cord cutters is to subscribe to streaming services like Sling TV, YouTube TV, Playstation Vue, DirecTV Now, or Hulu with Live TV, all of which offer some combination of TBS, CBS, TNT, and truTV. They each have trial periods if you’re just looking to stream for a few days.
NCAA March Madness Live this year has a new feature called Fast Break — “live streaming whip-around coverage of every game being played during the first round of the tournament,” according to the NCAA. There’s also a multi-game view feature for Apple TV.
If you own an Amazon Echo device, you can access a live audio stream for free by asking the score of a game via the Westwood One Sports skill.
By the way, it’s damn near impossible to get a perfect bracket — some say the odds are 1 in 9.2 quintillion. It’s so difficult that Warren Buffett offers Berkshire Hathaway employees $1 million a year for life if they ace their picks for the first 48 games.
Here are some tips for those filling out their brackets:
- March Madness 101: Tips and tricks for filling out an NCAA tournament bracket
- 5 tips from a Davidson math professor
- 5 tips for a winning March Madness bracket
Highlights from the week in sports tech
- MLB and Facebook inked a live streaming deal Friday. The league will air 25 afternoon games on the social media platform this season. Bloomberg priced the exclusive deal at around $35 million.
- Wearable company WHOOP raised $25 million from investors like Kevin Durant, David Stern, Jack Dorsey, and others.
- The Dallas Mavericks will accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment for tickets and merchandise.
- Is Pittsburgh a sports tech hub? As part of our GeekWire HQ2 coverage, I visited baseball performance startup Diamond Kinetics.
- Sports is a key vertical again at the annual SXSW conference.
- FanDuel is looking to go public.
- Bill Gates and Roger Federer played tennis again — Fed wrote about what tennis and philanthropy have in common.
- ESPN hired a new president: James Pitaro, a Disney Digital veteran.
- The MLS video assistant referee still needs improvement, according to some commentators.
- “Sometimes I feel like we’re going to lose our jobs to artificial intelligence.” That’s a quote from an NFL general manager, interviewed for this story about Zebra’s tracking technology.
Thanks for tuning in, everyone! — Taylor Soper