March Madness Comes to Apple TV, Offers Split-Screen Option

March Madness Comes to Apple TV, Offers Split-Screen Option

In a previous post I wrote about the five best free apps for the NCAA basketball tournament (aka March Madness) on the iPhone and iPad. Now the NCAA has announced that not only will its NCAA March Madness Live app (free) be available for the Apple TV, but also it'll have a split-screen feature so you can watch two games at once. The announcement also indicates that you can watch the action on your Apple TV by using the NCAA's iPhone or iPad app in conjunction with AirPlay. Plus, the app will also be available on the Apple Watch.

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In advance of the tournament, the app offers a featured video about the 2015 tourney, as well as lots of video clips from the NCAA.com website, including Social Rewind, High Five, Player of the Week, Remember That Time, and Men of March. The app will also offer the tournament schedule when it becomes available.

In a separate press release, the NCAA has also announced the TV schedule for the 2016 tournament. If you're a cord cutter, you'll be happy to hear that all of the games broadcast by CBS will be available for free. The games that will be broadcast by TBS, TNT, and TruTV will require you to log in to a TV provider in order to view the games. However, like last year, you'll get a free "preview" before being asked to log in. Last year that preview was three hours, but the press release doesn't indicate how long it will be this year.

According to the press release, the GameCenter feature of the NCAA March Madness Live app for the iPhone and iPad "has been re-engineered to provide fans with an immersive live video experience featuring improved navigation, Google Cast and Airplay support, and more curated social content from the Coke Zero™ NCAA March Madness Social arena."

How much of the action will you be able to catch if you're a cord-cutter? Their posted schedule says CBS will broadcast 21 games throughout the tournament, including the Elite 8, Sweet 16, and first and second rounds. But if you want to watch the semifinals and championship, you'll have to take advantage of the free preview. Or impose on a friend who has cable.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.