Akamais HD Network Delivers for 2011 NCAA March Madness On Demand
Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leading provider of cloud optimization services, today announced that the Akamai HD Network was the exclusive video delivery platform for the 2011 NCAA March Madness on Demand (MMOD) coverage of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship provided by Turner Sports and CBS Sports. Akamai's global network was used to provide live and on-demand streaming video across broadband and mobile applications. Akamai delivered live games and on demand content to more than 1.9 million unique visitors per day on broadband sites and more than 680,000 daily visitors to mobile applications. By the event's end, there was a 63 percent increase in total visits across the 2011 NCAA March Madness On Demand broadband and mobile products, and a 17 percent increase in online video consumption throughout the tournament compared to last year.
This year, Turner Sports and CBS Sports offered all 67 games online, as well as game replays and highlights via video on demand. The live games were streamed over the Akamai HD Network in Adobe® Flash® to PCs, newer Android® tablets and iDevices. Akamai's Media Analytics solution was also leveraged for real-time usage statistics and in-depth viewer behavior trends. Akamai's Professional Services and Support were utilized to manage activities leading up to the event and to provide support during the games.
“The 2011 NCAA March Madness On Demand offering was incredibly successful and well-received by online fans,” said Robert Hughes, Executive Vice President of Global Sales, Services and Marketing at Akamai. “Working with Turner Sports and CBS Sports on their enhanced, innovative online features, including free video content across broadband and mobile devices, was a slam dunk for all involved. By leveraging Akamai's HD Network, Turner was able to offer higher bit rates across broadband and mobile devices, which helped contribute to longer viewing times, more multi-game watching and more user engagement. The Akamai Media Analytics product was instrumental in giving Turner actionable views into real-time audience trends and viewing quality measurements.”
The 2011 NCAA Madness On Demand offering was designed to allow for a multi-platform, portable viewing experience and included various social media and viewer alert features, all intended to drive more viewers to the games and increase interaction with the Turner Sports and CBS Sports Tournament coverage.
This year, for the first time, live streaming video of every game of the tournament was available online, in addition to being broadcast nationally in their entirety on four networks: TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. The 2011 NCAA March Madness on Demand application was accessible across all platforms and offered new features for fans to view the games, including improved live viewing with richer quality and larger format streams, a personalized channel lineup, and live stats and social companion views.
About Turner Sports
Turner Sports, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is an industry leader in televised and online sports programming, airing championship level sporting events on TBS, TNT and truTV, and managing some of the most popular sports sites on the Internet. Turner Sports' television line-up includes the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, NASCAR and professional golf. The company's digital portfolio includes SI.com, NASCAR.COM, NCAA.com, PGATOUR.COM, GOLF.com and PGA.com, as well as an accompanying collection of mobile websites and connected device apps. Turner Sports and the NBA also jointly manage NBA Digital, which includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA Mobile, the NBA Game Time App, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.
Akamai® provides market-leading, cloud-based services for optimizing Web and mobile content and applications, online HD video, and secure e-commerce. Combining highly-distributed, energy-efficient computing with intelligent software, Akamai's global platform is transforming the cloud into a more viable place to inform, entertain, advertise, transact and collaborate. To learn how the world's leading enterprises are optimizing their business in the cloud, please visit www.akamai.com or blogs.akamai.com, and follow @Akamai on Twitter.