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March Madness: Live Streams Rise 42% to 70 Million

Capped by more than 2 million live streams for UConn’s win over Kentucky in the National Championship game, NCAA March Madness Live closed the 2014 tournament with just under 70 million live streams in shattering the old mark for the tourney’s digital product.

NCAA March Madness Live, managed by Turner Sports, set a new record for video consumption during the 2014 event, tallying 69.7 million live video streams collectively across all platforms, a 42% jump from the 49 million live video streams during the 2013 tournament, according to data from Omniture and Conviva.

All told, NCAA March Madness Live counted a record 15 million hours of live video consumption for this year’s tournament, a 7% increase over last year.

Moreover, NCAA March Madness Live dunked TV Everywhere records – authenticated pay TV subscribers gained access to the games and related action on TBS, TNT and truTV, while a subscription was not required for the contests on CBS – in topping platform consumption for the entire 2013 tourney by the close of the second round.

TV Everywhere usage soared 85% in live streams and 72% in hours spent viewing, according to Turner officials. Authenticated users spent more time watching games, streaming an average of 67% more minutes than users who weren’t logged in. TVE mobile usage surged, with such devices accounting for 52% of total TVE live streaming during the tourney.

Overall, mobile – smartphones and tablets --  recorded  a major advance, scoring a 71% rise in live streams, and a 38% increase in the number of hours.

The five most-watched games across digital platforms for this year’s tournament, based on live video streams were: Dayton-Ohio State: 4.59 million; Mercer-Duke: 4.18 million; Harvard-Cincinnati: 2.74 million; Kentucky-Connecticut in the title tilt: 2 million; and Kentucky-Wichita State: 1.95 million. All of those games beat the top streaming contest from the 2013 -- 1.84 million for Michigan State-Valparaiso.

In partnership between the NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports, NCAA March Madness Live launched from www.ncaa.com/marchmadness, www.bleacherreport.com and www.cbssports.com, and was available via the Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store, Google Play and Windows Store.  Additionally, fans could watch games via live streaming on TNT, TBS and truTV’s digital platforms, as well as participating TV provider websites.