According to ESPN.com news services, “ESPN said 1.1 million people watched at least some of the USA’s 1-0 win as it was streamed on ESPN3.com Wednesday. The match, which was also watched on ESPN by 6.2 million people, lasted from 10 a.m. to noon ET, during working hours for most of the United States. The network says it was the biggest online audience for a sporting event, beating the Duke-Butler NCAA championship basketball game on a Monday night from earlier this year.”
As anyone who has followed NCAA March Madness on Demand (MMOD) since we started streaming the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in 2003 will tell you, CBSSports.com has always said we get the biggest audiences for the first round games. With that in mind, it was incorrect for ESPN to assume the Duke-Butler championship game, which was viewed by 48 million people on CBS Television in primetime, would produce the largest online number for the tournament. Unfortunately, we were never contacted by ESPN to confirm that the Duke-Butler game was our largest single game from the 2010 tournament before they reported it.
To set the facts straight, we pulled the per game streaming data for 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship on MMOD and the attached chart shows traffic for the individual games – 3rd party sourced by Akamai – with the two World Cup games and the data that ESPN is reporting.