CBS’ March Madness on Demand Sees Bounce

More than 6 million fans logged onto the Web to watch part of the first four days of March Madness on Demand, CBS’ live online coverage of the NCAA mens basketball tournament, putting MMOD on pace to exceed last year’s event which netted 7.5 million unique viewers overall.

Officials at CBS have predicted that this year’s tournament will attract 10 million unique viewers upon completion.

Besides logging on in big numbers, fans are streaming far more live content than last year. To date MMOD has delivered 8.7 million hours of live streaming video and audio, representing a healthy surge of 35 percent versus 2009.

Web viewing of the tournament reached its peak during the 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. hour on both Thursday (March 18) and Friday (March 19), as over 910,000 hours of content was consumed in total during that post-lunch time period. The biggest game so far has been the double overtime thriller from last Thursday between BYU and Florida, which generated 521,000 hours of video and audio streaming.

The at-work crowd has always been a huge audience for MMOD, and this year those users are hiding their online viewing from the boss in droves. CBS has recorded nearly 3.3 million clicks of its “Boss Button” through the tournament’s first four days.

That newly redesigned button allows users to quickly click and hide the MMOD video player with a mock PowerPoint-like image.