At one time, March Madness was just that -- figuring out how to see four college tournament basketball games at the same time was lunacy.
No longer. Not with DirecTV, not with all 64 games available from our friends at CBSsports.com.
The real madness? Hey, there's a General Motors commercial! Are they still selling cars? Pontiacs, apparently, are what men -- and in particular, young men -- want.
Male viewers may also go for AT&T, Coke Zero, State Farm, Charles Schwab, HP, DirecTV, U.S. Army, "X-Men: Wolverines" and TV.com (a CBS in-house promo!) -- all NCAA TV/video sponsors.
Better technology brings improved insanity. One wonders how many of the most fervent of college hoop fans still need to time-shift. Live sports have big immediacy. But four games, six games, 10 games at a time? I only have two eyes.
This is TV programming in a wild, hundred-car drag race: just as with last summer's Beijing Olympics, there's too much stuff. Too bad the tournament couldn't be spread out over a 13-week season, like "American Idol." What wouldn't CBS do to extend the event until the May sweeps?
CBS has already made its case on the event: The NCAA on the Internet is a very big success. I'd take that a step further: March Madness is one of the few major TV/video events on the Internet where there is appointment viewing -- even if you are also watching games in a slightly or heavily time-shifted mode.
And it seems I need to be careful with those madness references. The NCAA doesn't want anyone
capitalizing on its good name, the NCAA March Madness trademark. In the coming days, it will send out hundreds of cease-and-desist letters to Web sites, bars, and casinos using the trademark
Sure, I understand. Now, if they only could let me time-shift my bar tab...