March Madness Will Now Cost $3.99 To Watch Online, Unless You Verify Through Your Cable Provider

This is weak. With so many cable companies always squabbling with the channels, this puts a lot of fans in a bad position. The official word is that it will be free if you already have TBS and that all CBS games will remain free no matter what, but still.  From Sports Business Journal:

Turner Sports is dramatically reworking its online coverage of the upcoming NCAA men’s basketball tournament to include a distribution plan that features a fee-based component. The new March Madness Live, rebranded from March Madness On Demand, will work primarily on a TV Everywhere-based model in which games will still be available for free streaming online on an authenticated basis. For example, a tournament game shown on TBS can also be seen live and for free online by fans who get TBS on their cable or satellite system, and authenticate themselves through the channel’s website.

Fans who either cannot authenticate, or choose not to do so, can buy a $3.99 all-access pass that includes coverage of all 67 tournament games across all major digital platforms and includes live statistics and social media integration. Tournament games shown on CBS will remain free online at

I understand the reasoning behind this but I still hate, Hate, HATE it.

[Sports Business Journal]