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Innovation

NCAA meets YouTube on March Madness site

Can't make it to the stadium to root for your school's team? Miss the good old days of screaming with a mob of fans when a player scores points?
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Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor on

Can't make it to the stadium to root for your school's team? Miss the good old days of screaming with a mob of fans when a player scores points? Now, courtesy of CBS, students and other sports fans can broadcast their team spirit online, reports the New York Times

Getting on the user-created content bandwagon, the CSTV Web site invites fans to upload their own video clips to a community section of the site. The site launch is meant to coincide with March Madness, otherwise known as NCAA basketball, which begins on March 15.

"This campaign is about the voice of the fans," said Brian T. Bedol, president and chief executive at CSTV Networks in New York. "It says CSTV is a brand that connects college sports fans to their passion."

CSTV is hoping is cash in on the popular trend of sites user-generated content, like MySpace and YouTube. Advertisers are all over having consumers create content, commercials and even products. Other recent examples of airing user generated content was during the Academy Awards show was when Unilever ran a commercial created by a consumer that promoted a new product, Dove Cream Oil Body Wash, and the Super Bowl, three advertisers ran four spots that were created by consumers or based on consumer ideas.

America is experiencing the rise of "a video filmmaker culture," Mr. Bedol said, now that "video cameras are in the hands of millions of everyday citizens in the form of digital cameras, camcorders and cellphones."

The growing interest in creating and sharing video clips "is where consumers are going," said Tom Shipley, director for global industry development at Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, part of the Anheuser-Busch Companies. "It's something they expect."

"What makes YouTube and MySpace successful is the passion of people who are trying to post on those sites," said Greg Weitekamp, broadcasting director for the NCAA in Indianapolis. "We're excited to see what CSTV will be doing."
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