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    This year, not all March Madness games will be free for everyone online

    This year, not all March Madness games will be free for everyone online


    Turner Sports has announced that it will require viewers to authenticate with their ISP information before streaming its March Madness games, and that the games will only be available to people whose ISPs support TV Everywhere. Games aired by CBS will still be free for all users.

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    March Madness is coming, but unlike last year, you may not be able to see all the games online for free. As in previous years, the games will be split between CBS Sports and Turner Sports, with CBS offering free online streaming of its portion. This year, however, Turner will require users to log in using their internet subscription information before watching the games it's broadcasting. Access will be available to anyone whose service provider has signed on to Turner's TV Everywhere, which the company says is used by all major ISPs except Time Warner Cable, making it available to 75 million US households.

    For anyone whose ISP doesn't have a deal with Turner, or who wants to watch the games on a phone or tablet, access will also be available through the NCAA's own app, which provides cross-platform streaming of all the games for $3.99. It's not a bad price, but it is a shift away from the free online model that started in 2006 when CBS made its games available for streaming.