NCAA® MARCH MADNESS® ON DEMAND TRAFFIC UP 56%
Extensive Cross-Platform Marketing Campaign Across all CBS Platforms and More than 300 Online and Mobile Properties Helps Fuel Growth
Overnight ratings on CBS Television Network Up 9% on Day 1
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – March 20, 2009 – CBSSports.com, in partnership with CBS Sports and the NCAA, today released traffic figures for NCAA March Madness on Demand (ncaa.com/mmod) for the first day of the first round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. In total, there were over 2.7 million unique visitors to the NCAA March Madness on Demand video player (56% growth) and a total of 2.8 million hours of live streaming video and audio consumed (65% growth).
NCAA March Madness on Demand traffic figures through Thursday, March 19
· Over 2.7 million unique visitors to the NCAA March Madness on Demand video player (2008 figure was 1.75 million – 56% growth)
· 2.8 million total hours of live streaming video and audio consumed – (2008 figure was 1.7 million – 65% growth)
· 1.5 million clicks of the “Boss Button” (2008 figure was 2.5 million over the course of the entire tournament)
“NCAA March Madness on Demand continues to regularly exceed our most optimistic expectations,” said Sean McManus, President, CBS Sports and CBS News. “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.”
“The extremely strong growth we’ve seen from NCAA March Madness on Demand from day one of the tournament reinforces the fact that this event is the largest and most popular live sports event on the Internet,” said Jason Kint, Senior Vice President and General Manager, CBSSports.com. “Our success is being driven through a massive cross-platform marketing campaign that includes CBS Interactive’s leading properties, promotion across CBS Corporate network television and radio assets and tremendous distribution from our partner sites in the Developer Platform.”
“NCAA March Madness on Demand continues to evolve as one the most powerful and innovative platforms for fans to follow the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship,” said Greg Shaheen, NCAA, senior vice president for basketball and business strategies. “The dramatic increase in traffic reinforces the broad interest in the championship and the convenience NCAA March Madness on Demand offers fans in accessing every game of the tournament.”
This year, hundreds of web and mobile properties signed up to participate in the NCAA March Madness on Demand Developer Platform giving sports fans more places than ever before to watch the games live online. Partners include CBS Interactive properties such as TV.com, CNET.com, Last.fm and GameSpot.com; partners across the CBS Audience Network, CBS Television and CBS Radio stations and affiliates; major sports and media websites such as ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports, SI.com and USAToday.com; and leading social sites such as Facebook. Akamai is serving video and audio streams for NCAA March Madness on Demand.
Located at ncaa.com/mmod/developer, the NCAA March Madness on Demand Developer Platform allows developers to choose from five different options to integrate live video from the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship via the NCAA March Madness on Demand video player.
In addition to the NCAA March Madness on Demand Developer Platform, promotions across CBS Interactive properties as well as CBS Corporation are helping to fuel this year’s growth. Marketing campaigns promoting NCAA March Madness on Demand are running on more than 18 CBS Interactive properties including TV.com, CBSNews.com, GameSpot.com, CNET.com, and BNET; CBS Audience Network partners including Comcast, AOL, MSN, Bebo, and many more have created promotions to help drive awareness and traffic, as well as promotion across CBS Radio and Network television.
In addition to its success online, the NCAA March Madness on Demand iPhone application, which provides sports fans live streaming video from the 2009 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship from their iPhones, is currently the number one paid application on the Apple App Store.
NCAA March Madness on Demand (MMOD) is the Emmy award-winning video player that provides live streaming video and audio of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Since its inception in 2003, MMOD traditionally provided live video of the first 56 games, starting with the first round, of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship as they were broadcast by CBS Sports, with local broadcasts being subject to blackouts. Beginning in 2008, MMOD started showing all 63 games from the first round of the tournament through the semifinal and final games of the Men’s Final Four®, making it the only major sporting event that is broadcast live and in its entirety for free on the Internet. NCAA March Madness on Demand is available internationally as well.
In addition to video being available on Windows Media and Flash, this year NCAA March Madness on Demand users have the option to download the Microsoft Silverlight high-definition quality video player for an enhanced stream.
Both the standard video player and the high-definition quality option are offered free of charge by presenting sponsors and NCAA Corporate Champions AT&T, Coca-Cola, and Pontiac.