The final March Madness stats are in for CBS (NYSE: CBS), CBBSports.com and the NCAA. As is usually the case, the bulk of the viewing — roughly 75 percent — happens in the first round and drops off from there as the field narrows. I’m still parsing the numbers but here are a few details:
– CBSSports.com streamed more than 8.7 million hours of live audio and video in the first four days and 11.7 million in all. By comparison, MMOD served up 8.6 million hours in 2009 and 4.92 million in 2008.
– The NCAA March Madness on Demand video player drew 8.3 million uniques, a much smaller increase over 2009, when it had 7.52 million uniques and not quite double the 4.76 million uniques in 200, but still up about 10 percent.
– The greatest growth came Monday night, when 575,000 uniques logged in for a total of 368,000 hours; both numbers are at least 70 percent higher than last year’s final. That probably says more about the tight match than online access; CBS’ TV ratings were up 34 percent over last year’s North Carolina-Michigan State final.
Update: Just got off the phone with Neil Ashe, president of CBS Interactive, and Jason Kint, SVP/GM, CBSSports.com. Kint wasn’t surprised by the increase in viewers of the NCAA basketball final. “Any time you have a close game like that that draws an online number up. Having Duke in it drives up the numbers even more.” That would be the same Duke that is most loved — and the most hated team — by CBCSports.com users.
Making money: They’ll talk uniques and hours but not the other numbers, as in how much CBSSports,com brings in from March Madness or how the online and mobile revenue breaks out. Ashe: “We don