March Madness: CBSSports.com Says It Served 3.4 Million Live Hours On Day One

March Madness On Demand Player

Initial stats are in for NCAA March Madness on Demand and it looks like CBSSports.com will be able to declare victory again (unlike fans of Georgetown or Vanderbilt). Unlike NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) and the Olympics, CBS (NYSE: CBS) goes for maximum exposure online — offering full, free access to all 63 games of the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Day one by the internal numbers:

3.4 million hours of live streaming video and audio by 3 million unique users of the free MMOD video players across all sites, including the CBS Audience Network and various partners. Up more than 20 percent over MMOD 2009. For comparison: the network reported 7.52 million total unique for the 2009 video player, up 58 percent over 4.76 million in 2009, and 8.6 million hours of streaming media, compared with 4.92 million in 2008, or 75 percent growth)

— Roughly 16 percent of all traffic Thursday came during one hour: 2:00 p.m. – 2:59 P.M. ET 533,000 streaming hours with 147,000 during the last 14 minutes.

— When Florida and BYU went into double overtime, so did MMOD users,, making it the most-watched game with 521,000 hours delivered.

— The Boss Button was hit about 1.7 million times but hard to believe the cartoon by Dilbert creator Scott Adams fooled anyone.

The online MMOD player may be free but the same access via iPhone runs $9.99 for full game video — when the connection is strong enough — and Westwood One audio. No stats for that yet but it’s the #1 paid app in the iTunes Store as of late Friday afternoon. We’ll have more numbers as the tourney progresses.

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