First Week of March Madness: 36.6 Million Live Video Streams

Mobile March MadnessDuring the first week of college basketball’s March Madness, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, there were 36.6 million live video streams across all digital platforms, according to the NCAA, Turner Sports, and CBS Sports.

This is more than twice the number of live video streams in 2012, which saw only 18.3 million for the entire multi-week tournament, and it adds up to 10 million hours of live video consumed. On broadband, there were 4.2 million unique visitors who watched an average of 105 minutes of live video per user.

The most popular games of the tournament, based on live video streams, were Valparaiso vs. Michigan State (1.84 million), Bucknell vs. Butler (1.78 million), and Mississippi vs. Wisconsin (1.78 million).

Advertising demand around the live player was also stronger this year, a Turner spokeswoman told AdExchanger in an email. This year, there were 40 clients advertising within the live video player, including AT&T, Capital One, and Coke Zero. Capital One sponsors the official bracket game of March Madness on smartphones, tablets, and other devices, while Coke Zero and AT&T sponsor the real-time video highlights being shared on Twitter.

“Overall, the main focus from an ad sales perspective is building big robust sponsorship opportunities,” the spokeswoman added. “Advertisers have the chance to surround the live video player, video highlights, tournament brackets, social enhancements, and more.  But by incorporating multiple digital touchpoints, like Turner Digital sites Bleacher Reporter and CNN mobile or CBS Sports’ digital assets, we’re able to amplify advertisers’ campaigns.”

MML iPad

Mobile is playing an increasingly large role in how viewers are interacting with the tournament, games, and content. Naturally, the NCAA’s official mobile app was the number one sports app in both the App Store and Google Play last week. The mobile app had 2.6 million unique visitors watch live video, and 61 minutes of video was viewed per user on tablets and smartphones. This was a 121% increase over the 1.2 million unique mobile visitors in 2012, and a 42% increase in minutes of video viewed on mobile.

MML Mobile

As the week went on, mobile usage also increased, with mobile live video consumption making up 43% of live video streams on Thursday, March 21, rising to 48% on Friday, 59% on Saturday, and 60% on Sunday. As the tournament continues, culminating in the Championship Game on April 8, this usage will continue to gain buzz.

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