March Madness: Live Streaming Sets Records over Tourney's First Three Days

While the tournament is off to its best start since 1991 on the linear side, NCAA March Madness Live has dunked record-setting streaming and engagement marks over the 2014 tourney’s first three days.

Bolstered by big-time usage for Dayton’s upset of Ohio State and Harvard’s handling of Cincinnati, NCAA March Madness Live, managed by Turner Sports, garnered 21 million live streams across computers, tablets and smart phones from March 18-20. That marked a 42% advance over the comparable stage of last year’s tourney, which marked the first time pay-TV subscribers had to authenticate in order to check out live-streaming simulcasts for the contests on TBS, TNT and truTV.

Moreover, more than 4 million hours of live video were consumed during the first three days of this year's event, 18% more than during the comparable days in 2013, and also a record for the opening three days of March Madness.

Mobile platforms – tablets and smartphones -- delivered significant growth with live streams up 87% over the first three days of the tournament in 2013, and live streaming hours ahead 53%.

The top five most-watched games across digital platforms over the first three days of the tournament, based on live video streams were: Dayton -Ohio State: 4.59 million; Harvard-Cincy: 2.74 million; St. Joe’s-UConn: 1.43 million; North Dakota State-Oklahoma: 1.37 million; and Florida-Albany: 1.34 million.

As mentioned, the first two contests topped the most-streamed games from 2013, which were led by Michigan State-Valparaiso:1.84 million; Butler-Bucknell: 1.78 million; Mississippi-Wisconsin: 1.77 million on March 22; Louisville-Michigan national championship game: 1.62 million; and Duke-Albany: 1.49 million.