The first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament delivered big ratings for CBS, but the network’s broadband-video-streaming site was the real winner.
Thanks in large part to the decision to drop its registration requirement, the broadband-video player drew substantially more viewers than last year. Thanks to the one-click access to videos, links to games were sent to a number of third-party sites, including ESPN.com, Yahoo Sports, Facebook and SI.com.
CBS’ March Madness On Demand video-on-demand service has drawn more than 3.3 million unique visitors so far in this year’s tournament, a 129% increase over last year. Included in that number were 571,297 VIP registrants, up 44% from 2007.
Also popular among the users: the “boss button,” a button that replaces the game with a faux spreadsheet just in case the boss or spouse walks by. The boss button was pressed nearly 2.2 million times.
While March Madness On Demand was first established in 2003, 2008 marks the first time all 63 games, including the championship game in San Antonio, will be made available to users of the service.