By: Staff Reports
CBS, Disney Convinced To Alter Contests
(The Hollywood Reporter) It’s known to the masses as March Madness – the NCAA’s
annual men’s college basketball tournament, which tips off today with wall-to-wall
coverage on CBS. But in the days leading up to these much-ballyhooed playoffs, a
different kind of madness has been a cause of concern for the governing body of
college athletics – the proliferation of big-money online betting pools.
The NCAA is vehemently anti-gambling, so much so that it supports a law that would
ban betting on college sports in Nevada. So as not to seem inconsistent, it has
convinced the Walt Disney Co. and CBS Corp. to alter the way their sports Internet
sites award prizes to participants by placing less of a reliance on skill in favor
of a more random competition.
As many as two dozen Web sites are sponsoring some kind of NCAA tournament pool,
with one offering a $10 million prize to anyone who can correctly predict the
winner of each game. Most offer sizable cash awards, with other prizes ranging from
Caribbean vacations to big-screen televisions.
Among the newspaper companies running online NCAA contests is Tribune Interactive of
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