Mobile Sports Viewers Skyrocket During NCAA Men’s Hoops

Mobile sports viewers were almost as big a story as the University of Connecticut Huskies during the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament, as March Madness on Demand (MMOD) experienced a 17 percent increase in online video consumption and a 63 percent increase in total viewership.

MMOD is the broadband and mobile device portal for the basketball tournament.

The MMOD numbers are the latest example of mobile sports programming as a boom industry. MMOD allows for direct marketing opportunities as well as brand evangelism opportunities on social networks. If Turner Sports and CBS Sports are to succeed in a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal with the NCAA to broadcast the men’s collegiate basketball tournament, MMOD and mobile sports viewership must produce new revenue streams to the broadcasters. This was the first year of the 14-year Turner/CBS deal.

Television ratings for the tourney also increased from the year previous, which experts said was further indication that hockey-stick growth trends in mobile sports viewing might continue without threatening the television market. 

“Live streams of sporting events online could actually be complementary to, and not cannibalistic of TV viewership,” wrote GigaOM‘s Ryan Lawler.

Akamai Technologies confirmed traffic for MMOD. Its global network was used to deliver live and on-demand to viewers. Akami, a Cambridge, Mass.-based cloud-computing company, said there were 1.9 million daily unique visitors and 680,000 daily visitors to mobile applications during the basketball tournament.

Viewers also raved about the user experience. columnist Michael Humphrey said Turner, CBS and the NCAA “put on a clinic on how to create the next major revenue stream” with crystal-clear pictures, outstanding interactive applications and advertisements that related directly to viewers using mobile devices. Humphrey challenged the National Football League to be aggressive in developing better sports viewing opportunities for fans with mobile devices.  


  1. […] the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament, which saw a 17 percent increase in online sports video consumption and a 63 percent increase in total viewership for March Madness on Demand […]

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