March Madness spiked smartphone, tablet and Internet traffic, as fans realized these devices unchained them from their TV sets for 2012 NCAA Tournament games.
Numbers released today from comScore Inc. show that sports-related traffic to these screens jumped 79 percent on March 15, the first day of the opening round, as compared to the average of the three previous Thursdays.
But it’s even more interesting to look at which screens these fans chose as their TV alternative. Sports content consumption via tablets zoomed up 94 percent, while smartphone activity leaped up 83 percent. Sports traffic via computers jumped a still considerable 77 percent.
And just like work productivity declined on that day, so did total traffic to all other web content, which dipped a slight 2 percent.
Crunching the numbers another way, comScore found nearly double the percentage of sports category content was consumed on non-computer devices as other content categories.
“As media formats continue to evolve, we’re rapidly seeing America’s national college basketball obsession increasingly bleed over to other screens like smartphones and tablets,” said Debbie Bradley, senior director at comScore. “Given the emphasis large advertisers place on these events, it’s important to consider how other media channels can be leveraged to maximize a brand’s awareness and its communication with the consumer.”