The hype-a-thon — yes, I’m a willing participant — know as March Madness is nearing the end of its first day, which means CBS (NYSE: CBS) is well into the second year of its ad-supported online experience. Some fast stats for CBS Sportline’s March Madness on Demand as of late afternoon:
— Some 800,000 people had registered for MMOD, a number you might think would be higher given all the publicity. Of those, 470,000 registered for VIP status, the passport through the waiting room when lines are long.
— The MMOD video player had been visited more than 1.5 million times. Each time the player is reloaded whether the viewer was bumped for being offline, starting a fresh session on purpose or had crashed out (as happened in case.)
— While I never saw a line longer than a few thousand, some 189,000 users were waiting when the first game (Maryland vs. Davidson) tipped off.
Keep in mind, none of these numbers say anything about streams — something counted every time the “channel” is switched or viewing is initiated — or about contemporaneous usage. We should have more on that tomorrow.
As we reported earlier in the day, CBS also debuted the CBS NCAA Tourney channel on YouTube with quickly posted highlights and clips sponsored by Pontiac. Some stats as of 10:15 p.m. edt:
— 47 subscribers.
— 1,292 channel views.
— the most-viewed clip: 642 views.
The YouTube channel should get a boost as people become more aware — and once CBS gets embedding enabled, something I’m assured is in the works now.
First Look: Despite reports of problems here and there and the usual frustration from Mac users who can’t get March Madness love from CBSSportsline.com, the only issue I’ve had with my feed since opening tip-off is being bumped off the video feed whenever work took precedence. (Yes, Rafat, that means I was bumped a lot.) The larger video player is nice but the video quality was so-so most of the time (better on the ads than the games); not too surprisingly, full screen was more viewable on my 12.1-inch wide-screen laptop that the 21-inch wide-screen. It would be great to be able to detach the player. On the plus side: low latency on stream switches and no buffering issues. There was a few seconds difference between the real end of the Duke game and the online end. Next year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a premium package of some sort that adds DVR-like controls and high-quality video. No inside info; just musing.