Appiphilia: Watching March Madness via iPhone
Unlike the majority of the country, I am immune to the March Madness that sweeps the nation. As a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, I couldn't care less about Michigan State, UConn, North Carolina, Oklahoma or any of those top schools that always find a way to the Big Dance. To twist a phrase by the well-traveled sports-talk wild man, Scott Ferrall, I hope they all lose.
Luckily for me, of the 64 teams that were invited to the NCAA tournament, nearly all of them at some point will lose, and thanks to the $5 app I can watch the misery on my phone as it happens.
All kidding aside, CBS and Mobitv put together a really interesting app that does everything you'd want from such a thing. Live scores, easy-to-maneuver brackets and, best of all, live streaming video (as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection). Everything works very smoothly -- if not perfectly.
And as good as it is, it opens the door to more possibilities with sports and iPhone apps. For example, if CBS is allowed to stream every game of the tournament for the low price of $5 for the entire March Madness (including the upcoming Final Four and championships), then why wouldn't MLB.com be able to provide a similar app for baseball fans? Isn't it the same principle -- letting sports fans enjoy their favorite teams via the screens on their phones?
Likewise, how about the NFL Sunday Ticket on your phone -- along with scores and standings and stats?
If CBS can give us all the NCAA March Madness games on our iPhones through this app for $5 -- a service very similar to what they provide to cable and dish users for $70 -- then why can't the NFL and the MLB deliver their packages (which run about $200 and $100, respectfully) for a fraction of the price? Isn't the idea to grow market share and help spread ads to our beloved mobile devices?
Regardless, there will be three more losing teams to watch over the next few weeks. Three more schools that will have their hearts broken. To be able to witness the sorrow for such a low price is quite a deal.
-- Tony Pierce