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Online March Madness Sure To Be Maddening

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We were hesitant to even mention this to you — for purely selfish reasons — but you've surely heard about it anyway: The NCAA Tournament will be available On Demand on your computer for free this Thursday, all games, streaming onto your desktop. That's great, right? We mean, that's the American dream!

Well ... there could be some issues, and you might not want to cancel those plans to call in sick to work just yet. Because of the intense demand expected (every year, ESPN and other sports sites notch record traffic during the first two days of the tournament), CBS Sportsline and the NCAA are sending out "400,000 to 1 million" VIP invites, allowing only those people immediate access to watch the games. If you're not one of the VIPs, you'll be put in a virtual waiting room until someone leaves ... and we have to say, if we get in, we're not even gonna think of signing off.


And that's not the worst of it. Sports Business Journal says the service will only be able to handle "200,000 video streams at a time," which doesn't even cover the VIP subscribers. So not only are you not likely to get in even if you are a VIP, but if you do happen to get in, you better hope your server doesn't go down (which you can almost count on happening), because then you're not getting back in.

In other words, we'd start practicing that fake cough for your boss right now. Because this On Demand business seems like a recipe for immense frustration.

NCAA Tourney On Demand [NCAA Sports]
CBS Sportsline Ready For March [Mediaweek]

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