NCAA® MARCH MADNESS® ON DEMAND TRAFFIC UP 60% AFTER FIRST FOUR DAYS OF TOURNAMENT
Traffic to the NCAA March Madness on Demand Video Player through the First Four Days Surpasses Traffic for Entire 2008 Tournament
Promotions Across all CBS Platforms and Thousands of Online Properties Fuels Record Traffic
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, March 23, 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 four days of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. In total, there were 5.6 million unique visitors to the NCAA March Madness on Demand video player, a 60% increase over 2008 figures. Additionally, there have been 6.5 million total hours of video and audio consumed thus far, a 71% increase over 2008 figures.
The continued success of NCAA March Madness on Demand builds on the growth of the broadcast of the tournament on the CBS Television Network. CBS Sports' coverage of the first and second rounds of the 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is up +6% from 2008.
NCAA March Madness on Demand traffic figures through Sunday, March 22
5.6 million unique visitors to the NCAA March Madness on Demand video player (2008 figure was 3.5 million - 60% growth)
6.5 million total hours of live streaming video and audio consumed (2008 figure was 3.8 million - 71% growth)
2.5 million clicks of the "Boss Button" (2008 figure was 2.5 million for entire tournament)
The March 19 first round game between Cal. St. Northridge and Memphis is the most watched game thus far in the 2009 tournament
"We could not be more pleased by the numbers being generated by NCAA March Madness on Demand," said Sean McManus, President, CBS Sports and CBS News. "Fans continue to embrace the new technologies and viewing options offered by CBS Sports. As ratings for the Network are also up 6%, the Network's NCAA bundled rights agreement has proven to be an early star in this year's championship."
"With CBS Interactive properties now reaching 15 million people a day, the internal marketing and promotion behind NCAA March Madness on Demand has reached new heights this year and is a driving factor in the product growth for this year's tournament," said Jason Kint, Senior Vice President and General Manager, CBSSports.com. "The fact that CBS Interactive produces the official athletics web sites for 43 of the 65 teams that made the tournament and 14 of the schools in the NCAA Sweet 16® has also served as a great promotional vehicle for NCAA March Madness on Demand."
"I believe we're all in agreement that March Madness on Demand continues to evolve as one of the most powerful and innovative platforms for basketball fans to follow the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship," said Greg Shaheen, NCAA, senior vice president for basketball and business strategies. "To see the numbers steadily increase reinforces the broad interest in the championship and the convenience MMOD offers fans in accessing every game of the NCAA Tournament."
CBS Interactive, a top 10 Internet Property worldwide, tapped into the power of its network to help drive awareness and excitement for this year's tournament both from a content integration and promotional perspective. From TV.com featuring select historical games from the Men's Final Four® (TV.com/ncaabb/), to leading technology and consumer electronics site CNET.com explaining all the ways that technology allows fans to follow the action away from the TV, to GameSpot, a leading video game web site, using video game simulation to help predict the outcome of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, the entire CBS Interactive network has promoted and marketed the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship and NCAA March Madness on Demand like never before. In addition, a comprehensive promotional campaign was developed to drive record level attendance for March Madness on Demand, including a unique All Access program that ran across CBS interactive properties.
This year's marketing program extended across CBS platforms. Promotions on CBS Television, Radio stations, Outernet and affiliates as well as the CBS Audience Network helped fuel awareness of NCAA March Madness on Demand on air and online. From promotions during The Early Show, 60 Minutes, CSI: Miami to a CBS Outdoor billboard in Times Square, the strength of CBS across all forms of media to reach consumers clearly played a pivotal role in the growth of NCAA March Madness on Demand.
The NCAA March Madness on Demand Developer Platform also continues to help drive awareness by bringing games to where the fans are. 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. Partners include major sports and media websites such as ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports, and USAToday.com; and leading social sites such as Facebook.
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.
2009 NCAA March Madness on Demand Images, Logos & History/Facts:
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About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletics opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.NCAA.org and www.NCAA.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions - AT&T, Coca-Cola and Pontiac --and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners - Enterprise, Hershey's, The Hartford, Lowe's, Sheraton and State Farm.
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