Campus Clips: March Madness Live Shines as TV Everywhere Success; Conference Realignment Flares Up at Mid-Major Level

Compiled by Brandon Costa, Senior Editor, Sports Video Group

According to USA Today’s Michael Hiestand, the increase in viewing of both live streaming and live television coverage of the NCAA Tournament dispels the concern that digital coverage will undermine TV viewership. After CBS/Turner’s NCAA first-week basketball tournament TV coverage drew its best viewership in 23 years, there were also big increases in digital live video viewing. March Madness Live has generated 36.6 million live video streams — double live video streams for the entire tournament last year. Via broadband, live video digital coverage has so far attracted 4.2 million unique users — up 161% from this point in the tournament last year. And via mobile apps, streams have attracted 2.6 million unique users — up 121%…

After resisting the Atlantic 10 a year ago, George Mason will leave the Colonial Athletic Association and join the A-10 on July 1. Its the same move made by Virginia Commonwealth last year and by Richmond more than a decade ago, while also forming a subway conference rivalry with nearby George Washington. The CAA isn’t what it used to be, so it appears worth the $1 million exit fee and the minimum of $1.65 million in conference payouts that GMU will forfeit, money that university president Angel Cabrera said the school will recoup in the A-10 ”in as little as five years…”

…In other conference realignment news, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern will make the transition from the FCS to the FBS and join the Sun Belt Conference, sources told ESPN…

…New Mexico State will also join the Sun Belt as a football-only member beginning in 2014…

…East Carolina University has accepted an invitation to join the soon-to-be-renamed Big East in all sports, beginning July 1, 2014…

…The High Point University Athletic Department launched its own Internet browser theme available for free for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. Browser themes have a High Point University look and bring fans the latest in HPU Athletics.