SBD/March 17, 2017/Media

CBS Site Outage Keeps Fans From Completing Brackets; Sony Nabs "Boss Button" Ad Space

Thousands of fans who waited until the final minutes to fill out their brackets on on Thursday were "denied their picks," as the site crashed around 11:00am ET and "stayed down for about two hours," according to Richard Morgan of the N.Y. POST. The timing "could not have been worse for 11th-hour bracket makers." The frustration of being "bracket-blocked set Twitter afire with posts." CBS Sports said the service was down "due to overwhelming demand" (N.Y. POST, 3/17). In N.Y., Daniel Popper notes CBS "finally got its bracket interface functioning" around 1:00pm, "about 45 minutes after the tip of the first game" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/17).

THAT'S BOSS! RE/CODE's Peter Kafka noted the "boss button" that the NCAA puts on its March Madness Live site is "really an ad for Sony's PlayStation Vue streaming TV service." Clicking on it "gives you a semi-serious set of power points to pretend to look at" touting PlayStation Vue. Kafka: "You’re not really supposed to look at these things, because everyone knows you’re not really fooling your boss. It’s just a nudge-nudge." But many people do -- "millions each year -- which means it’s valuable real estate for the NCAA, along with Turner and CBS." The boss button debuted in '06 and has "used a series of fake Excel sheets, decks and in-boxes since then." The NCAA "started selling sponsorships for the boss button" in '09 (, 3/16).
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