CBS College Sports Network
and the NCAA will provide a live online broadcast of the Final Four and Championship game of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship via their NCAA March Madness on Demand video player. It will be the first time ever that a major U.S. sporting event has been shown live and in its entirety on the Internet.
Traffic figures for NCAA March Madness on Demand for the first eight days (First Round through Elite 8) of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship have shown tremendous growth year-over-year. In total, there have been 4,333,207 total unique visitors to the NCAA March Madness on Demand video player, a 147% increase over 2007 figures. (1,753,192 unique visitors)
2008 NCAA March Madness on Demand traffic figures through Sunday, March 30
-- 4,333,207 total unique visitors to the NCAA March Madness on Demand
video player (2007 figure -- 3/15/07 through 3/25/07 -- was 1,753,192 -
-- Total minutes of live streaming video and audio consumed in the first
eight days of the tournament: 4,588,993 total hours (275,339,580
minutes). This figure surpasses the entire 2007 total of minutes of
live video and audio consumption (2,716,236 hours - 162,974,160
minutes) resulting in 69% year-over-year growth and counting.
-- Total hours of consumption for the 2008 Sweet 16 (March 27 & 28) were
up 111% vs. the 2007 Sweet 16. (589,308 vs. 278,810)
-- The average stream time for the Elite 8 (March 29 & 30) was over 32
-- 2,442,705 clicks of the "Boss Button" (figure not available for 2007)
-- Nearly 3.7 million fans are currently playing in CBSSports.com bracket
games across the web, including the largest bracket application on
Facebook. The total number of CBSSports.com brackets participants is up
65% from 2007. Of the approximately 500,000 fans playing in the
CBSSports.com Bracket Challenge, over 51,000 users correctly predicted
the four teams that have advanced to the 2008 Final Four.
-- 571,297 VIP registrants (2007 figure was 468,720 - 22% growth)
A large factor in the year-over-year traffic escalation with NCAA March Madness on Demand is the decision CBSSports.com made to drop registration requirements for the product, giving fans immediate admission to the video player. This one-click access gives CBSSports.com the ability to distribute links to NCAA March Madness on Demand to a network of more than 200 sites across the Internet, including major sports websites such as ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports and SI.com, leading social sites like Facebook, online video leader YouTube as well as the CBS Audience Network, including sites for CBS television and radio affiliates.
2008 marks the first time that NCAA March Madness on Demand gives users the ability to view all 63 games of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, from the first round of the tournament through the Men's Final Four in San Antonio, including the Championship game. NCAA March Madness on Demand also gives users the option to listen to live play-by-play audio from Westwood One Radio for all games of the tournament.
Since its inception in 2003, NCAA March Madness on Demand has traditionally provided live video of 56 games from the first round through the regional semifinals of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship as they are broadcast by CBS Sports, with local broadcasts being subject to blackouts.
Full game video and audio archives and highlight packages will be available on demand for all games of the tournament via the NCAA March Madness on Demand player. Additionally, highlight packages are available on the CBS Interactive Audience Network as well as YouTube. The NCAA March Madness on Demand player and archival footage are accessible through April 21.