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March Madness Leads to Jump in Sports Traffic Online

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College hoops fans are getting their live March Madness coverage any way they can, and often that means turning to their computer or mobile devices. Online measurement company comScore has completed a study on web use during the 2012 NCAA Tournament, and has found that sports-viewing jumped on computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Comparing the first Thursday of the NCAA Tournament (March 15) to the three previous Thursdays, comScore found that sports traffic grew by 77 percent on computers, 83 percent on smartphones, and 94 percent on tablets. The first Friday, sports traffic grew by 59 percent on computers, 75 percent on smartphones, and 85 percent on tablets.

The study found that people increasingly turned to mobile devices for sports content. On an average Thursday, 19.8 percent of all sports traffic is on mobile devices, while on Thursday, March 15 it grew to 20.6 percent. On an average Friday, 20.4 percent of all sports traffic is on mobile devices, while that grew to 22.1 percent on Friday, March 16.

"The NCAA Tournament, like the Super Bowl or the Olympics, is one of those events where sports fans don't want to miss a beat of the action -- especially if they can't be in front of a TV," says Debbie Bradley, senior director at comScore. "Over the past several years we've seen fans become more reliant on the web for NCAA tournament coverage, especially while they're tied to their desks at work during the first round matchups."

For an in-depth look at how some people are getting their March Madness coverage, read our feature on NBA League Pass.

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