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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : March 25, 2010

CBSSports: On Demand viewing jumps for March Madness

Heading into the second week of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, affectionately called March Madness by basketball fans, CBSSports has a strong viewership. For the first weekend, the site logged more than 3.4 million hours of streaming content by nearly 3 million sports fans. That is a 20% jump over 2009 numbers.

by Kristina Knight

This is the seventh year CBS has streamed March Madness content.

The hub, which is partnered by the NCAA, offered consumers a few extras this year. A "Boss Button" allowed at-work fans to watch without fear of being caught by bosses because it silences the feed and covers the game stream with a work-friendly image. Nearly 2 million fans used the button through the first round last Thursday and Friday. Just how big a jump is that? For the entire tournament in 2009 the "Boss Button" was clicked only 2.77 million times.

The numbers are in line with predictions from video hub Unicast regarding consumers' consumption of video during the tournament. And, even as consumers turn to apps and alternate viewing choices it is interesting to note that so many returned game after game the first weekend of the tournament to watch. reports:

• 3.4 million hours of total streaming for the first weekend of the tournament
• The 'most watched' hour last week was the 2:00 PM hour, responsible for 16% of the total day's viewing
• 3 million unique users taking advantage of On Demand video players

"The continuing evolution of NCAA March Madness on Demand gives our fans even more reasons to stay connected to the tournament on a daily basis," said Greg Shaheen, NCAA senior vice president for basketball and business strategies. "Tremendous first round games, enhanced features in the MMOD player and solid early traffic numbers all point towards an exciting few weeks to come."

Tags:, content monetization, March Madness, online content, video content, video monetization

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