If you are away from the living room TV or a sports bar and want to watch March Madness, there’s always your laptop or desktop computer and the Internet. Joost, the Internet TV service, is making live-streaming video available through an update to its desktop client.
NewTeeVee reports that Joost has landed a deal with one of its investors, CBS, to stream live and relatively ad-free NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship games. The new Joost client — for the PC and Intel Macs only — was made available for download today and is needed to access live streaming. Joost began looking into adding “live television” back in October.
If you’re already a Joost user — and there are a few of you out there — watching March Madness games through the client might be a nice Plan B if you’re stuck at work and away from the living room or local sports bar. Beginning next Thursday, first- and second-round games will be shown live with only CBS’ in-stream ads to get in the way.
An added benefit for hoop fans living outside the U.S.: Joost imposes no geographic restrictions, so London-based last100 editor Steve O’Hear can follow Drake’s and Gonzaga’s trek to the Final Four, or at least improbable entry into the round of Sweet 16.
Joost, known to have reliability problems in the past, isn’t doing itself any favors by warning fans that live streaming is only a test. At least Joost VP of engineering Mark Zelesko is honest when he said, “If you’re a sports junkie with money on the game you may not want to depend on us for the last two minutes of the game. We expect it will probably break.”
Then why bother with Joost at all?
It could be because you are a Good Samaritan. Joost cannot simulate how things will go until it has a bunch of users pushing video through the peer-to-peer network.
“To evaluate how it scales we need to open this up to more public audiences,” said Zelesko, who hopes that “tens of thousands” of fans will download the new Joost client, adding to the five million downloads to date.