By Ashley M. Wislock
and William Bowman
The Daily Item
It’s time for March Madness, when college basketball becomes the most popular event in America, even for people who haven’t watched a game all season.
Here is a crash course on what players and teams to watch, quick tips on possible upsets, history and, perhaps most importantly, where you can watch the games even if you are on the go.
From the couch
This year, there are four channels broadcasting games: TNT, TBS, CBS and TruTV. The first game today — Ohio State vs. Dayton — tips off at 12:15 on CBS. A complete list of games and their corresponding channels can be found online at dailyitem.com by clicking on March Madness or at the many mobile applications found here ...
Games on the go
For fans on the go wishing to watch any game at any time, there are also plenty of options.
Last year, 49 million people live-streamed games online, consuming more than 14 million hours of footage, according to USA Today.
Several websites will offer live content throughout the tournament, including: www.ncaa.com/marchmadness, www.cbssports.com and www.BleacherReport.com.
The official smartphone app for the tournament is “NCAA March Madness Live,” available for iOS, Android, Kindle and Windows phone. This app will allow users to stream all the games and set up game alerts. However, users will have to login to the app with their cable subscription ID to access games airing on TBS, TNT or TruTV.
ESPN has a “Tournament Challenge” app, which allows users to compete in bracket groups and get live updates on their bracket, including game scores. The app is available on iOS and Android.
SiriusXM subscribers can listen to the games online or through their receivers, according to PC Mag, though channels for all of the games haven’t been revealed.
And for those with access to Twitter, there’s the official March Madness Twitter account, twitter.com/marchmadness, which also has a list featuring every participating team’s twitter handle.
At the office
An estimated 50 million people will participate in March Madness office-bracket pools, resulting in big losses in productivity for employers, according to industry analysts.
Firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimates that workplaces will lose $1.2 billion in productivity because of employees devoting time to filling out or updating brackets and checking scores.
“The impact on productivity comes from several directions,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas said in a statement. “Of course, there are the office pool participants, some of whom might take five minutes to fill out a bracket, while others spend several hours researching teams, analyzing statistics and completing multiple brackets.”
However, Challenger suggests that instead of banning the office pools, employers should use the tournament to build employee engagement.
“At the end of the day, it is unlikely that a few days of March Madness distraction will impact the company’s bottom line,” he said.”