When Turner spent a fortune to acquire rights with CBS to the NCAA basketball tournament, the deal also came with significant online rights. And it has relaunched NCAA.com, which will offer a cornucopia of live events. Action from 60-plus NCAA championships will be streamed.
The highlight should be huge traffic if, as expected, every March Madness game is streamed live for free. Turner will manage production of March Madness on Demand and share ad sales with CBS for the Web and mobile versions.
The basketball games will likely be accessible via CBSSports.com, Turner's SI.com and elsewhere. Turner has recently taken over the business operations of the Sports Illustrated Web site.
Turner will handle all ad sales for NCAA.com and other NCAA digital properties. It said part of the NCAA site will now offer coverage of every NCAA sport, but also look for some hyper-local traffic with customized content for 1,000-plus individual schools.
The company says it has upgraded coverage of sports and has made navigation easier. Social media will also play a role in the effort. Weekly features on athletes away from the competition will be offered.
Turner manages PGA.com, and NASCAR.com and Turner Sports executive Matthew Hong stated that NCAA.com aims to take on "a deeper commitment to college sports throughout the year ... and [offer] a cutting-edge user experience."