Report: Fans Gearing Up For March Madness, Ready To Watch Online

Get the boss button ready. A survey found that 44% of those asked plan to follow the March Madness NCAA basketball tournament online, and that 54% of those intend to catch the action live online. The survey, conducted by rich-media solutions provider Unicast, queried 1,062 Americans over the age of 18.

Of those asked, just 10% said they would follow on mobile devices. Furthermore, 50% of all fans with an income over $75k planned to go online to keep up with the tournament.

ESPN.com and Yahoo Sports were the most frequently cited online destinations, with 69% of respondents calling out EPSN and 42% naming Yahoo. Only 29% said they planned to check CBSSports.com, the official broadcaster's site. And 80% say they will watch on television (including stations airing clips highlights, as well as the broadcasts of the actual games).

"On the heels of the extensive online coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament offers online publishers another premium sporting event that will generate high traffic from consumers looking to follow the tournament outside their living rooms," said Bryan Hjelm, VP of marketing for Unicast. "Sites like ESPN.com and Yahoo Sports will dominate traffic due to their inherent sports fan user base, which make them prime real estate this month for marketers targeting the typical visitor -- men aged 18 to 35."

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The online versions of newspapers and magazines edged out social networks for fans' allegiances, with 20% of those polled saying they would check in on a newspaper or magazine site, and 18% claiming they would monitor the action via social networks.

The full report is available here.

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