MMOD: More growth ahead in 2009?
By Carl Lindemann
CBSSports.com’s success with March Madness on Demand (MMOD),
with nearly five million unique viewers utilizing the video player, is
reverberating through the broadcast business. On Wednesday, FCC
Commissioner Robert McDowell cited MMOD as an example of how media
companies can flourish in the expanding marketplace. “As technology and consumer tastes rapidly change, traditional media
companies are trying to adjust their businesses in an effort to retain
and grow their audiences. In fact, a motto of this new media
marketplace could be ‘Innovate and adapt, or die,'” said McDowell.
For Jason Kint, CBSports.com senior vice president, general manager,
the final stats on Web watching are now gathered with planning for how
to put this intelligence to good use to begin this summer after a
well-deserved break. What’s the core lesson learned?
“The lesson is not to be concerned about cannibalization [of the TV
viewership]. The big at-work audience is complementary, not
cannibalistic with live video. The point is to bring content to viewers
wherever they are, whenever they are,” Kint says.
According to Kint, the streaming stats demonstrated this by how the
opening Thursday/Friday contests showed peak traffic. “The numbers went
down in the prime time, anytime this was available on TV,” he adds. The
numbers from Nielsen Online showed that a commanding majority of the
viewers at NCAASports.com – some 92% – watched from work.
While online revenues for MMOD double the previous dollars hitting $21
million, the exposure gained proved to be a bargain. “The numbers were
far and away above what we anticipated. We overdelivered this year (for
advertisers),” says Kint.
The challenge ahead is how to turn this year’s breakthrough into a
regular feat. For Kint, there’s plenty of market intelligence to mull
over as his team begins plans. “We’re going to take a break for a few
months, then reengage. We have lots to work with here,” he says. “This year, we
had a few tricks up our sleeve that we knew, if played well, would
bring much growth. Well, we still have a few more cards we’ll be
pulling out for next year.