March Madness Goes Live!

Life today is all about instant gratification.  We want what we want when we want it.  This translates into TV program viewing.  There are a many ways you can watch TV programming “on demand”: DVR, On Demand, Hulu, Amazon, Netflix & Network Apps. Some of these are free and some are paid, yet all of them allow you to watch TV programming when you want it.

Yet, when it comes to sports, viewers mainly watch events live. If you’re not around to watch the game, you’d better stay away from your Twitter or Facebook feeds, avoid listening to the radio, watching TV or going online…otherwise, you’ll find out pretty quickly who won the game.


As we come to the end of March and are already deep into the March Madness tournament, viewers have another way of watching every game of the tournament live with the NCAA’s March Madness Live site. This site allows fans to view live streaming March Madness Basketball games on multiple devices.

Many College Basketball fans are paying close attention to their brackets, assuming they haven’t been busted already! What is so amazing and interesting is how the joint venture between CBS and Turner continues to move the needle in the way people can watch games.  Since 2011, fans have been able to watch all 64 games on TV through TNT, TBS, CBS and Tru-TV as well as on Apple devices – all for free.

In 2012, MML developed a paid/authenticated model and added Android devices to the mix.  This year, they went to four hours of free viewing per device before being prompted to authenticate, and added Android Tablet.  On TV, I’ve seen a CBS promo for MML, and CNN and the Today Show have talked about the MML app.  I have also read blogs and advertising industry publications/newsletters about MML.

March Madness Live is generating record-setting video streams and engagements across all digital platforms.  In just the first week of the tournament, there were 36.6 million live video streams across online and mobile (tablets and smartphones), double the 18.3 million for the entire event in 2012.  This is equivalent to more than 10 million hours of live video consumed across all media platforms!

The current MML model and distribution is taking live sports viewing to a new level.  From a college sports fanatic to a causal fan just watching to keep track of his/her bracket, you can watch sports anywhere on anything.  Now, I’m looking forward to football season!


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