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Apple and March Madness. What's the Connection?

— March 16, 2006 — Lifestyle
Apple Computer is to bring condensed versions--we're assuming this means "the best bits"--of all the 2006 NCAA Division I Basketball championship games to the iTunes Music Store. The college ball games will be available for $1.99 apiece the day after they air on CBS' College Sports TV--a channel that's heavy on howling university entourages, clamorous cheerleaders and tussling wunderkinds.

Yet it looks as though the tech bellwether would prefer customers to splash out on a "Season Pass" feature on iTunes for $19.99, thereby receiving condensed versions of all 63 games the day after they are played for viewing on a computer or a video iPod. Much like a podcast, every game will automatically be placed in a customer's download queue the day after it airs on CBS, and will be available for download once a user logs into iTunes.
Trend Themes
1. March Madness on Demand - Creating an on-demand service for NCAA championship games through iTunes presents a true disruptive innovation opportunity for media and streaming industries.
2. Condensed Version Sport Event Streaming - Developing an option to stream condensed versions of sports events to mobile devices or computers through subscription services is a potential innovation opportunity for sports and technology industries.
3. Sports Event Season Passes - Offering season passes for sports events on-demand, much like video and music services, provides a new opportunity for streaming and sports industries to innovate.
Industry Implications
1. Media Industry - Live streaming sports events and offering them on-demand is a disruption opportunity for media corporations and providers.
2. Streaming Industry - Developing on-demand services for sports content would streamline streaming and encourage exclusivity for video and audio networks.
3. Sports Industry - Offering season passes to sports events could transform the way consumers view and access live events, creating an opportunity for sports corporations and leagues to innovate.
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