It’s March 1st, which means it’s time to start preparing for the most important, complicated, and engrossing competitions of the year.
It’s time for March Madness.
While it’s a bit too early to fill out your bracket, it isn’t too early to start considering how you’re going to watch every game — and with 67 games over almost the entire month, “from my couch” isn’t really a realistic option. It’s time to consider how you’re going mobile.
Why is now the best time? Because changes to the costs associated with streaming even your favorite games to that top rated tablet or smart phone mean some planning is in order.
As those who kept track of their favorite games on their smartphone or tablet last year may remember, streaming the games via March Madness’s broadcast partners CBS and Turner on the web was free, and one of the most popular online broadcasts in online streaming history. Around 3 million unique users were tuning in online for games each day.
Big changes to watching the Big Dance
This year, the game has changed a bit, with mobile access being gated behind a $3.99 pay barrier for access to all 67 games. This means that if you’re breaking out your top rated tablet to watch while you’re at work (during normal pre-approved break times and lunch hours, of course), you’ll need to be ready with the right app on your iOS or Android device to do it.
Thankfully, there is some good news for those looking at streaming — the payment is one-time only for this year’s games, and is platform independent. So if you’re rocking a Galaxy Tab and an iPhone, you won’t have to shell out twice to get the games on both devices.
To get started, just download the appropriate app (I recommend following a link from the official NCAA website to avoid malicious or misleading apps) and use the username and password combo you’re given to get started. As a bonus, you’ll also be able to log in and watch via the web on a Mac or PC computer.
Currently, the official March Madness apps are slated for release on March 7th, which gives you plenty of time to sign up for an e-mail notification (that way you can be aware the second they’re ready for download), and you can take the time to make sure you’ve got the right top rated tablet on the way so you can enjoy all the action, even when you have to be away from your couch.
While you check out some options, let us know who you plan to be rooting for in the comments.