by Tom Wailgum

Internet: Preparing for the Bandwidth Issues Associated With March Madness

Mar 15, 20031 min

It’s a good bet that end users at your company will create Internet bandwidth spikes on March 20 and 21, when the men’s NCAA basketball tournament tips off with 32 first-round games starting during business hours. This annual hoops event?big business for CBS and its new 11-year, $6 billion TV contract with the NCAA?is a huge deal for sports websites that offer online updates for the 64-game, 65-team tournament that ends April 7.

At, they’re ready for a full-court press. The website’s team projects peak demand, and then builds systems designed to handle twice the traffic, says Peter Pezaris, president of operations and product development for the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based website. (CBS owns an equity stake in and heavily promotes it during broadcasts.)’s Linux-based system uses a proprietary live-publishing system that updates scores automatically. “We can deliver basketball scores as quick as six seconds after the actual events,” Pezaris says. In this tournament, six seconds can be the difference between moving on or going home.