With the increasing number of people watching live sporting events through social media, Turner Sports and the NCAA have worked to keep up with the trend, providing streaming access to 15 different platforms for this year’s college basketball tournament.
— TurnerSportsPR (@TurnerSportsPR) March 7, 2017
Games will be streamed through platforms like Xbox, Apple TV and even Amazon’s Alexa. For the first time this year, Turner’s video streaming service iStreamPlanet will provide the infrastructure for every game. With over 350 million people checking in on the tournament on social media last year, this jump to platforms other than live television makes perfect sense.
Snapchat to provide “Live Stories” of games on app
Of course, March Madness will be especially prevalent on the top social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. Turner Sports and Snapchat are in the midst of a two-year deal to deliver Live Stories for 14 tournament games. Turner Sports experimented with a March Madness Live Story at the Final Four in 2015, leading to a deal with the popular messaging app.
These stories will feature videos and photos from the fans mixed in with behind-the-scenes content at the hands of Turner’s social media team. After providing stories for the MLB and the NFL, Snapchat continues to immerse itself into the sports market to extend its reach to the app’s young audience.
Twitter lets fans use the app to build their bracket
Twitter may not be streaming any games, but the platform is still getting caught up in the madness. Twitter partnered with fast food giant Wendy’s to allow users to fill out a March Madness bracket directly on the app. College basketball fans can direct message Wendy’s on Twitter to have their bracket filled out automatically based on a personality quiz. Otherwise, users can decide all 63 games on their own.
— Wendy's (@Wendys) March 12, 2017
Wendy’s and Twitter even have ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas tweeting out advertisements for the contest!
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) March 15, 2017
What will Facebook do?
It is yet to be announced what Facebook will do for the NCAA Tournament. Last year, Facebook worked with the NCAA’s digital team to create temporary custom frames for teams in the tourney to put over users’ profile pictures. Some teams also used Facebook to stream behind-the-scenes content, giving fans that up-close experience that is so important.
And that's a WIN!!! The journey continues!#GoBlue
Posted by Michigan Basketball on Thursday, 17 March 2016
Expect one of the giants in the social media game to get involved in March Madness one way or another.