• Silverlight Gets Nod for March Madness

    Microsoft's Silverlight notched another high-profile win with yesterday's announcement by CBS Sports and the NCAA that CBSSports.com's March Madness on Demand (MMOD) will offer a high definition option using powered by Silverlight.

    Over the past few years MMOD has become the signature online video sports event, with CBSSports.com successfully converting it in 2006 from a paid, subscription based model to one fully supported by ads. The payoff has been evident: in '08 MMOD had 4.8 million unique visitors (a 164% increase over '07) who watched 5 million hours of live video (an 81% increase over '07).

    CBSSports.com is building on its MMOD success by offering the higher quality option via Silverlight this year. Users who download the plug-in will get 1.5 mbps streams vs. the standard player's 550 kbps. Once again, all 63 games, from the first round through the championship game will be available. For office workers unable to watch on TV, online distribution continues to be a compelling value.

    With MMOD, Microsoft is continuing to push Silverlight into high-profile sports events. Recall that Silverlight's inaugural run, supporting the 2008 Summer Olympics, was executed superbly. It showcased new features like multiple viewing windows and instant rewind/fast-forward. MMOD promises yet another premier opportunity for Silverlight to show its stuff.

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