With the NCAA men’s basketball tournament beginning next week, CBS, Turner Sports, and the NCAA have rolled out details of their different planned coverage. We discussed the broadcast pairings earlier, including Verne Lundquist stepping away, and now we have details on some of the streaming coverage through March Madness Live.
What’s perhaps particularly notable is that for the first time, streaming coverage will include a “Fast Break” option, a whip-around show similar to the NFL RedZone offerings that will focus in on the most interesting game action going on at any given point.
Awful Announcing has learned that the show will be hosted by Rich Waltz (the former Miami Marlins’ TV voice, who currently calls national college football and basketball for CBS Sports Network), Tony Delk (the former Kentucky player who currently calls college basketball for the SEC Network), and Andy Katz (the former ESPN journalist who currently contributes to the Big Ten Network and writes for NCAA.com, amongst other things).
Here are more details on Fast Break from the NCAA.com release:
This year’s new Fast Break presented by AT&T and Lowe’s will include live streaming whip-around coverage of every tournament game during the first two full days of tournament action, switching from game-to-game with live look-ins, quick turnaround highlights, and commentary on behalf of all the games. Fast Break will be a dynamic, fan-centric experience bringing viewers real-time analysis, social reaction, and an all-encompassing look at the entire tournament from one viewing location.
If the Fast Break experience isn’t your particular jam, there are many other streaming options as well, including the ability to watch the standard broadcast of any particular game, the ability to watch up to three games at once on Apple TV, “excitement alerts” for big moments and direct access to Westwood One radio broadcasts.
The March Madness Live app will be available on 16 platforms, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Android handset, Android tablet, the Amazon Echo family of devices, Amazon Fire tablets, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream, mobile web, Roku players, Roku TV models, web and Xbox One.
But the idea of Fast Break is certainly an interesting one. That approach of going to whatever game’s the most exciting at the moment has found great success in other sports, and the early part of the NCAA tournament might be particularly suited to that given that there are often several interesting games happening at once. And Waltz, Delk, and Katz are all respected and prominent voices who seem like a good fit to host this kind of coverage.
We’ll see just how much traction this gains, but it’s a different move than what we’ve typically seen in NCAA Tournament coverage, and it’s one that could pay off.
The March Madness Live app is available to download here. It will offer a temporary preview period before requiring a pay-TV subscription authentication for full functionality.