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March Madness is a Multi-Media Hit

Upset Thursday was followed by Chalk Friday in the NCAA Tournament, and it produced record numbers of viewers across all video platforms.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 contributed big-time to March Madness on Thursday (thanks a lot Baylor, Iowa State), while Friday was opposite day, with the exception of Dayton's win over Providence (why hello there Archie Miller!).

As brackets were destroyed, so were TV ratings records. Tournament games across TBS, CBS, TNT + truTV averaged 6.4 overnight rating, which means over 10 million viewers were tuned in at any time.

But it is through the internet and social media where the NCAA tournament expanded viewership, giving us a glimpse of the future of sports broadcasting.

Live streaming on other platforms, (computers, I-Pads, I-phones, etc) for the first two days of the tournament totaled almost 40 million for the first two days, up over 9% from just last year.

The NCAA also reported that social media hits (twitter, instagram, facebook) reached 64 million, up 25% from last year.

When CBS and the NCAA embraced bringing in Turner and its networks as partners, it quickly expanded its advertising base. Now every game is broadcast live nationally, and every game is available for live streaming. Just ten years ago, March Madness brought in a little less than $500 million in advertising dollars. This year it will produce over $1.1 billion in revenue, just behind the NFL play offs.

The leveraging of the multiple platforms has allowed the NCAA to create massive revenue streams to the point that “March Madness has evolved into Marketing Madness,”

Wonder how long it will be before this bottom line becomes another talking point about stipends for student-athletes.