NCAA Basketball Tournament Setting Records for Digital Viewing

March 21, 2014

This year’s “March Madness” NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is setting records for digital viewing, Turner Sports announced. While viewership for the tournament on CBS appears to be down, based on early results for broadcast prime time (see separate story), viewing on digital platforms is way up.

“NCAA March Madness Live, managed by Turner Sports, has registered record-setting video streams and engagement across all digital platforms for the first three days (Tuesday-Thursday) of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship,” Turner announced. “Across online and mobile (tablets and smart phones) platforms, NCAA March Madness Live garnered 21 million live video streams, up 42% vs. 2013, and more than 4 million hours of live video consumed, up 18% — both all-time records for the first three days of tournament action.”

Here are the top five most-watched games across digital platforms over the first three days of the tournament, based on live video streams, according to Turner:

1. Dayton vs. Ohio State — 4,588,000
2. Harvard vs. Cincinnati — 2,742,000
3. St. Joseph’s vs. Connecticut — 1,432,000
4. North Dakota State vs. Oklahoma — 1,365,000
5. Albany vs. Florida — 1,341,000

Citing data from Omniture, Conviva and Bango, Turner reports the following additional highlights from the first three days of the 2014 tournament:

— Mobile (tablets and smartphones) platforms experienced significant growth with live streams up 87% over the first three days of the tournament in 2013.

— Live streaming hours also delivered considerable growth, up 53% over the comparable span last year.

— According to SocialGuide, the first three days of the NCAA Tournament generated more than 1.1 million comments on Twitter, an increase of 39% over the first three days last year.