CBS March Madness On-Demand Traffic Up 56%20 Mar, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
The march to crown the 2009 NCAA Div. 1 men’s basketball champion proved to be an online winner just one day into the competition that ends April 6.
CBSSports.com March 20 said first-day traffic to its March Madness On Demand video player topped 2.7 million visitors, up 56% from the first day last year. Viewers watched 2.8 million hours of ad-supported live streaming video (also available in high-definition) and audio, which represented a 65% increase.
About 1.75 million unique visitors accessed the on demand video player in 2008, streaming 1.7 million hours of video and audio content.
In addition to its success online, the NCAA March Madness on Demand iPhone application, which provides users live streaming video from the tournament from an iPhone, is currently the number one paid application on the Apple App Store.
CBS offered streams of March Madness On Demand from 2003 to 2005 as a $15 subscription service that attracted 20,000 users. In 2006, MMOD was offered as a free ad-supported service that garnered 1.3 million users and $4 million in revenues. Ad revenue increased to $10 million in 2007 and $23 million in 2008, the first year users were not required to register to download the video player.
Through 2007, MMOD streamed 56 games of the tournament, and all 63 games last year.
“The combination of the television ratings being up 9% and the continued steady growth of the Internet and wireless provides unprecedented viewing options for the fans and maximizes the network’s NCAA bundled rights agreement,” said Sean McManus, president, CBS Sports and CBS News.