TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Madness: Net Hit With Record Traffic Flow

Madness: Net Hit With Record Traffic Flow

Paul J. Gough (
Sat, 18 Mar 2006 13:40:38 -0600

By Paul J. Gough

March Madness gripped the Internet on Thursday, with more than 1
million video streams carried in the first day of CBS' free on-demand
out-of-market games. There were occassional slow downs in internet
movement from the 'traffic jams'.

Thursday kicked off the NCAA men's basketball tournament, one of CBS'
highest-profile sports packages and one that takes over much of the
network for three weeks through early April. But the online portion
was expected to gain lots of attention this year as well with the
offering of out-of-market games via CBS SportsLine.

Businesses, which often complain about the lost productivity because
of the fine art of bracketology, had even more to be worried about
this year with the free streaming via the Internet. Those fears seem
to have come true with what CBS said was a record-breaking day for a
sports event streamed live on the Internet.

CBS served more than 268,000 simultaneous streams of first-round games
Thursday, pushing its first-day total to more than 1.2 million by 6
p.m. EST.

"The numbers and positive feedback we have seen from our users today
are extremely encouraging," CBS Digital Media president Larry Kramer

Meanwhile, the TV coverage was affected by a bomb scare at Cox Arena
in San Diego, where several of the games are being held. The
Marquette-Alabama game was delayed more than an hour, with the other
games delayed as well.

In other March Madness news, Time Warner Cable announced a deal with
CBS and its subsidiary CSTV to offer condensed games on-demand during
the tournament. The package includes 63 condensed games, at the price
of 99 cents. It follows a similar deal with Apple iTunes for condensed
games that was announced Thursday.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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