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CBS’s (s cbs) coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is off to a strong start as the network announced today that more than
2.8 2.7 million unique visitors used the March Madness On Demand player during the first day of play yesterday.
2.8 2.7 million is up 56 percent over 2008’s 1.75 million opening day draw. Additionally, users spent 2.8 million total hours streaming audio and video (65 percent growth over last year). Having a big audience at the start of the tournament is important for CBS because online audiences are the inverse of television, tuning in online for early games that are shown during the workday, and then tapering off as there are fewer games.
CBS also reported that March Madness television ratings were up 9 percent for day one as well.
We asked how much of the the MMOD watchers were viewing in high-quality, and where most of the traffic was coming from (would love to know how many iPhone users tuned in, and how much traffic YouTube generated), but CBS didn’t have those details ready yet.