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More viewers expected to stream March Madness games

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – March Madness begins Thursday, and with phones, desktops and laptops, there are more options than ever this year to watch the games.

The NCAA said last year, their NCAA March Madness Live set records with the amount of live video streams and consumption of the men’s basketball championship. They saw 80.7 million live video streams, and 17.8 million hours of live video consumption. They said video streaming was up 17 percent over 2014.

A lot of the games are between 8 and 5 p.m., which means many people will stream the games at work, and that will take up some bandwidth if you’re using company internet.

Local phone company AxiaTP has been working with some of their clients proactively this week, sending out notifications to help them understand what they can do to monitor traffic, or to be ready for this increase in traffic.

They say they see three times the bandwidth utilization on their networks in March, during March Madness.

There are a number of things they suggest companies can do so this doesn’t impact their network, when employees stream games.

You can talk to your provider about prioritizing traffic, and you could also, if needed, limit streaming capabilities. They also suggest keeping games on in a common area on a TV, so it’s not using up bandwidth.

“One of the things corporations can do is put in some kind of filtering piece to lower the priority of the network connection, so the quality of the connection may not be as good, the livestream may not be as good, but it also runs across at less bandwidth,” said Josh Ross, co-founder and managing partner at AxiaTP.

According to the NCAA, the most watched game last year on digital platforms was when Northeastern played Notre Dame. They said that game had 3.9 million live video streams. When Notre Dame played Kentucky, there were 3.3 million live video streams.