Apple, CBS offer NCAA Men's Basketball on iTunes

Apple and CBS Sports said on Tuesday that the 2006 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament would be made available on the iTunes Music Store. The condensed games will cost $1.99 each or $19.99 for a Season Pass, which includes all 63 games.

In addition to the individual games, Full-length versions of this year’s semifinals and championship game, as well as compilations of buzzer beaters, upsets and memorable championship games from past NCAA Tournaments will also be available on iTunes, according to a joint statement from the companies. The compilations are not part of the Season Pass and will sell for $1.99 each.

The games will be available to customers the day after they air on CBS and will automatically be added to the download cue. The next time you login to iTunes, the game will download to your computer.

Last week, Apple introduced the concept of a Multi-Pass with the debut of The Daily Show, allowing customers to download future episodes. The Season Pass available with the sports programming has a subtle difference from the Multi-Pass.

“The Season Pass goes back and covers any of the previous episodes, as well as the current and future shows for that season,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes, told Macworld. “The Multi-Pass covers the current and future episodes.”

While Apple would not say whether other sporting events would come to iTunes anytime soon, they did say they are always looking to expand their content.

“What we’ve tried to do with all of our TV content is continue to expand – sports is certainly one area and we have received a great response from our customers. When we did the Rose Bowl, it was the number one video for weeks.”

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