CBS Grows Intelsat Capacity for March Madness in HD

CBS, the key rightsholder of the NCAA's "March Madness" college hoop games, will increase its use of Intelsat satellite transmission capacity by about 50 percent in the days ahead, in order to air nearly 40 contests in HD.

Tournament coverage will be carried over IA-5 and IA-6, two satellites in the Intelsat fleet orbiting over North America. CBS will use the satellites for both contribution and distribution (uploading and downloading, as it were) throughout the United States. CBS already uses Intelsat to transmit its non-sporting HD and SD broadcasts year-round, and had purchased additional "occasional use" capacity specifically to support HD transmission of this year's post-season games.

CBS Sports said as the network steadily expands the number of events offered in HD in various sports, it makes sense to have its regular satellite provider, Intelsat , in a position to support new requirements in a flexible manner. Intelsat said the size and diversity of its birds now allow it to reach 99 percent of the world's populated areas.