After a year of live sports deprivation and missing out on the college basketball tournament completely, viewers are out to make the most of this year’s March Madness as evidenced by the record-breaking viewership numbers accumulated in just the first two days of the NCAA tournament. The first round on March 19 and 20 racked up more than one billion minutes streamed across 32 games in just two days according to a report by Conviva.
The first day saw the most views which is typical year after year, with Friday seeing 15% more views than Saturday. Peak viewing hours happened at 2:55 PM and 5:19 PM on Day 1 with the highest viewership marked a little after 9 PM on Day 2.
Conviva also tracked which devices viewers prefer to watch the tournament on year over year, and TV wins by far with 68% viewing March Madness on the big screen. That number is a result of a steady increase from 2018. Mobile devices are the least favorable way of watching the games according to the report, with 11% of viewers watching on mobile, down from the 23% and 29% in 2019 and 2018 respectively. It makes sense that when it comes to sports, viewers prefer watching on a bigger screen so they don’t miss any of the action.
So which is the preferred way to watch March Madness on TV? This year, 40% of viewers are using a Roku player to stream the NCAA tournament. Roku beats the competitors by a landslide when it comes to March Madness viewers. Amazon Fire TV is the next choice with 26% of viewers, followed by Samsung TV with just 10%.