March Madness Live Online Product Records Strong Early Numbers
March Madness Live recorded strong early returns during the first week of the NCAA Tournament, according to data from Turner Sports. MML generated 36.6 million live video streams during the initial rounds, twice that of last year's comparable total, and 10 million hours of live video streaming, up 198% from '12. The broadband version of MML has seen 4.2 million unique visitors, up 161%, and the mobile version has reached 2.6 million unique visitors, up 121%. The bullish initial numbers for the digital deployment of the tournament mirror improved TV ratings, showing the broad appeal of what has been widely deemed to be a wide-open competition.
Turner Sports this year changed the model for MML, removing the fee-based option and basing the distribution on a user-authentication-based structure backstopped by a free four-hour preview. The most popular individual game on MML to date was the Michigan State-Valparaiso contest, which generated 1.84 million video streams. The game's 12:15pm ET tip time marked the beginning of play last Thursday, generally considered the full start of the tournament.