march-madness-on-demandIf you’re watching the Final Four of the 2011 NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournament this weekend, you’re one of the 9.1 million average daily viewers contributing to the best ratings the tournament has seen since 1993. If you’re watching the Final Four on a computer, smartphone, or tablet, you’re adding to the record high 12.7 million total hours of streaming video already consumed by college basketball fans this tournament season.

Other notables numbers from the online and mobile component of March Madness On Demand include:

  • An average of 3.8 million daily unique visitors on broadband and 782,000 average daily unique users on the mobile apps for March 17 – March 18.
  • 29% of all streams for MMOD from March 15 – March 27 were from the iPad and iPhone apps.
  • An average of 64 minutes per daily unique visitor was spent streaming MMOD on broadband from March 15 – 27.
  • An average of 25 minutes per daily unique visitor was spent streaming MMOD on mobile apps on March 17-18.

I think the above gives us at least three important takeaways:

1) Mobile video, once relegated (at least in my mind) to a delivery platform that was always going to command some semblance of significant viewership in another year or three, is finally starting to garner meaningful eyeballs.

2) The numbers of viewers on the March Madness website and mobile applications are up 47% from last year. That’s due in every part to the fact you can stream the games live from nearly any internet connected device. So, maybe there’s a synergetic effect between March Madness coming online and to the iPad, iPhone, and mobile devices in the form of a universally acclaimed, user-friendly website and application and the increased television ratings.

Does giving viewers more access to more games from more places earlier on in the tournament increase viewership for the tournament overall on all platforms? Or is the increase in eyeballs just because American loves seeing upsets? Something to think about.

3) It’s 2011 and still nobody likes Duke.

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