This story was written by Staci D. Kramer.
The final stats are in for CBSSports.com's most-open March Madness on Demand ... it's hard to do perfect comps to previous years given the way the offering has evolved to include all the games this year, no online blackouts and social media outreach. Some of the numbers to be announced Monday:
Video player: From opening day through the final game between Kansas and Memphis last Monday, CBSSports.com counted 4,759,306 total unique users of its video player, up 164 percent over last year's 1.8 million. Through the end of the Sweet Sixteen, 4,003,241 total uniques used the video player, compared 1,701,532 total uniques during the same time period in 2007 for 135 percent year-over-year growth. Keep the above caveat in mind because local games were blacked out in 2007. The bulk of the uniques came by in the first four days of the tournament: 3,318,844.
Live streaming: As for hours, CBSSports.com streamed 4,925,566 total hours of live video and audio. Most of those hours4,294,400were streamed though the end of the Sweet Sixteen. Again, the bulk came during the first four days, when interest in the event is at its peak and more people are likely to be seeking out-of-market games or ways to watch a game in full instead of the live game mashups CBS (NYSE: CBS) enjoys so much. Total hours streamed through the first four days: 3,705,092. (CBS uses the term "consumed" but I'll go with delivered since we have no real idea how many users stuck with every stream; because MMOD required a "still viewing" click to continue, the number is probably a lot closer to reality than, say, YouTube's autoplayer.) Total hours of live streaming in 2007 for the first 56 games: 2,716,236.
Social media: Hard to tell at this point how much social media added to MMOD numbers. I asked for a split between video player users coming directly to the site versus those referred through widgets on other sites but no dice. Nearly 3.7 million participated in the CBSSports.com bracket game. (I joined the Facebook app but didn't have time to play, somehow got unfairly tagged as a Memphis Tigers bandwagon jumper.) As for the number of One Shining Moment mashups2,021 created with a wide range of viewing numbers.
By Staci D. Kramer