While the 2013 tourney marked the top TV audience since 1994, digital teammate NCAA March Madness Live established new highs in terms of video streams and consumption.
Managed by Turner Sports, NCAA March Madness Live garnered 49 million live video streams across online and mobile platforms (tablets and smartphones) during the tournament, a 168% jump from 18.3 million in 2012, according to Adobe Site Catalyst (broadband) and Conviva (mobile) data, respectively.
That equated into more than 14 million hours of live video streaming during the 2013 NCAA Tournament, representing a 207% surge from 2012.
In partnership between the NCAA, Turner Sports and CBS Sports, NCAA March Madness Live,which was available to authenticated video subscribers to TBS, TNT and TruTV, launched from www.ncaa.com/marchmadness, www.cbssports.com and www.bleacherreport.com. It was also available via the App Store and Google Play, with the app ranking as the top sports app from those outlets during the tournament. It was also the No. 1 free app across all categories in the App Store.
A further breakdown of Adobe Site Catalyst data shows that 5.8 million unique visitors watched live video on broadband, 170% more than the 2.1 million for the 2012 tournament. Throughout the 2013 event, broadband users consumed an average of 105 minutes of live video, a gain of 8% compared with last year.
As expected, growth was greater on the mobile side. Some 3.4 million unique visitors watched live video via the mobile app, up 112% from 1.6 million in 2012. Seventy minutes of video was viewed per user on tablets and smartphones, marking a 66% advance.
Mobile phone viewing minutes expanded 309% over 2012, while tablet consumption grew at a 194% clip. Over the first two weeks of the tournament, mobile’s share of live video consumption grew from a 49% average on Thursdays and Fridays to a 61% average on Saturdays and Sundays. Reflective of people not being tethered to the workplace on weekdays, during the tourney's first two weeks mobile’s share of live viewing minutes amounted to 26% on Thursdays and Fridays, versus 31% on Saturdays and Sundays.
Michigan State-Valparaiso on March 21 was the top digital game, generating 1.84 million video streams. That was followed by Butler-Bucknell with 1.78 million on the same day; Mississippi-Wisconsin with 1.77 million on March 22; the Louisville-Michigan national championship game on April 8 with 1.62 million; and Duke-Albany with 1.49 million on March 22.
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