March Madness Live Returns with Four-Game Multiview on Desktop; Greater Focus on Discoverability Across Devices
MML is available across 19 mobile and connected device platforms
Few events in American sports call upon the greater ecosystem of digital, multi-platform live sports more than March Madness Live.
Back of another year, MML has new features in 2023 including the introduction of a multi-game viewing feature that allows for watching up to four games simultaneously on web. Additionally, on the audio front, MML added audio integrations on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for easier listening to games via Westwood One Radio.
“When this product first launched as March Madness On Demand, it really was the very first live-streaming product to deliver fans a really awesome digital experience,” says Hania Poole, SVP of Digital and Product at WBD Sports. “We love to continue that tradition and every year innovate upon that.”
Each year, the WBD Sports digital team does deep polling and research with its users and continues to redesign the product each year to respond to user demands and greater technology trends in the industry. Poole noted that while last year’s iteration of March Madness Live set new benchmarks across all key usership metrics, it was noted that the deeper the on-demand offering available in the product, the better it is for the live side.
“We find the deeper that we go with video-on-demand,” Poole says, “the more we expand engagement time and we see those users converting to live in a big way.”
The March Madness Live application is available across 19 platforms, ranging from desktop, to mobile devices, to smart TVs/connected devices, and more. That number continues to grow year-in and year-out.
“Everything is designed with the fan in mind,” says Poole. “That’s why we get expanding across all of these platforms: we want to meet fans where they are while delivering the best-in-class video and audio experience.”
Not only are there so many different devices in the market, Kim Saunders, VP of Product at WBD Sports ackowledges that in many cases there are older devices still in heavy use. It’s not always about innovating for the latest and greatest smartphone or connected device. This past year he group actually put a concerted effort into optimizing video playout quality on older connected devices.
“There’s player limitations there so we have streamlined the video player and pulled back what’s necessary to ensure a smoother video experience.” she says. “March Madness Live is an unparalleled platform for live coverage and premium content of the [NCAA Men’s Basketball] Tournament. We always want to innovate based off fan research and what’s happening in the market place.”
Outside of the March Madness Live product, games can still be viewed individually based on what linear network they are airing on. Users can live stream games on the TBS, TNT, and truTV digital platforms/applications, as well as TV provider websites and apps. Any games airing on CBS can be live-streamed on Paramount+ with no authentication required.
NCAA March Madness Live is managed by Warner Bros. Discovery Sports in partnership with the NCAA and CBS Sports and is available to download across 19 mobile and connected devices including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Xbox, Google TV and LG Smart TVs.