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March Madness On Demand

March 15, 2012 by staff 

March Madness On Demand, The first full days of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament tip off today, and fans across the country are announcing their plots to ditch work duties and instead take in the games. Not to their employers, of course, but in social media circles.

Facebook posts describe schemes of working from home and rescheduling those pesky conference calls. On Twitter, a quicker solution is required: Some suggest taking a sick day for March Madness.

For decades, managers have contended with employees taking extended lunch breaks at sports bars so that they can immerse themselves, if briefly, in March Madness. They’ve put up with workers using company computers — and bandwidth — to view games, check scores and update their bracket status.

But the explosive growth in smartphones and tablets over the past two years has been a game-changer. Now the tournament’s live-streaming games are accessible even to office workers who have sports and entertainment sites blocked by employers, as well as teachers, bus drivers, retail workers and others who normally aren’t in front of a TV or computer during the workday.

“It’s this hyperconnected world now,” says Bill Wheaton, general manager of the media division at technology company Akamai, which streams the games on behalf of NCAA broadcast partner Turner Sports. “Anyone can watch any game at anytime anywhere.”

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