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3/15/2006
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iTunes To Sell March Madness Games

CBS Sports and Apple on Tuesday announced a deal in which condensed versions of all the games in the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament will be sold on iTunes for $1.99 each.

CBS Sports and Apple on Tuesday announced a deal in which condensed versions of all the games in the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament will be sold on iTunes for $1.99 each.

The pair is also selling a $19.99 package that lets users download abbreviated editions of all 63 games the day after they're played. The tournament, dubbed "March Madness" by most, starts Thursday and wraps up Monday, April 3.

Games can be downloaded to video-equipped iPods, or watched on a Windows or Mac machine using the iTunes software.

"While CBS Sports' coverage of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship remains the centerpiece of the March Madness experience, iTunes is a great way for viewers to catch games they miss or to keep their favorite moments for viewing on their iPod," said Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports, in a statement.

The semifinal match-ups on April 1 and the championship game on April 3 will be available in their entirety, CBS said.

CBS, however, is also offering free real-time webcasts of all games in the first three rounds of the tournament on an NCAA site. All 56 games during those rounds will be available to broadband-equipped users.

Passes to the VIP section of the webcasts, however, are exhausted, so users will have to "line up" the day of the game for a shot at the broadcast. Those who registered earlier begin watching the games faster than "stand-by" viewers, said the NCAA on its Web site.

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