The latest evidence of how mainstream streaming video over broadband has become comes from the NCAA. Nearly 10 million viewers tuned in to 70 million live NCAA Men’s Collegiate Basktetball Tournament game video streams in 2014, up 42 percent from 2013, according to audio and Web conferencing services provider InterCall. And more than half (56%) of full-time employees in an InterCall survey said they stream tournament games at the workplace, including 61% of male employees and 42% of female employees.
“While most of the early round tournament games are broadcast during the middle of the workday, little seems to stand between employees and their brackets,” InterCall's Jill Huselton writes in a company blog post.
Also in the InterCall survey, 43% of respondents said they would likely reschedule a recurring conference call to catch a game. Nearly the same number (42%) admitted they have watched NCAA tournament games while at the same time participating in conference calls. Of this group, 11% mute themselves and 31% mute the game sound, InterCall said.
Watching NCAA March Madness tournament games at work isn't only a discreet, private activity. InterCall found that it's as much a social, group-binding one. More than 60% of survey respondents (62%) say colleagues gather in common spaces such as break rooms and conference rooms to watch games,”
Asking survey respondents to report the strangest place they've watched March Madness games, InterCall found that bathrooms are the most popular. Other unusual places where employees streamed the games included:
- In a courthouse, on an iPad;
- Supply closet;
- Public library;
- Barber shop;
- Boiler room;
- Strip club;
- Chuck E. Cheese’s;
- Pawn shop.
“For better or worse, live streaming and the ease of accessing games on any device means employees no longer have to choose between conference calls and tournament games—and, as we’ve seen, they don’t,” commented Huselton.