With Selection Sunday around the corner, we know we aren’t the only one with NCAA brackets on our minds. We checked in with ESPN, which has become the de facto home for online brackets. And we even set up our own bracket for Cablefax fans. Pit yourself against the rest of the cable industry here.

How many years has ESPN.com been hosting brackets?

Our first season of Tournament Challenge was 1997.

Was last year a record for brackets submitted for NCAA Men’s tourney? What is the record?

Last year, fans submitted more than 11.01 million brackets to ESPN.com’s Men’s Tournament Challenge, an all-time record high surpassing last year’s record of nearly 8.15 million brackets by 35.1 percent.  At the peak period, fans registered 11,983 brackets per minute (199 brackets per second).

How does the women’s bracket compare?

Less fans play the women’s bracket, but it is increasingly popular.

Any perfect brackets ever? If not, what was the closest?

No. We get this question a lot, but there is no way to answer who has been the closest because of the nearly infinite number of variables.

Does ESPN solicit celebrities to fill out brackets or do they just do it on their own? President Obama has been making his picks with ESPN for several years now.

We don’t solicit anyone. Last year President Obama finished in the 72.9th percentile with a rank of 2,987,736 in the men’s tournament.  The president’s bracket was officially busted during the Elite Eight after Connecticut knocked off Michigan State, the team he predicted to win it all.

How does ESPN use the brackets beyond ESPN.com? Does it help you stay in the mix when CBS and Turner have the Men’s rights to March Madness games?

ESPN covers all the major sporting events whether or not we have the television rights, and we do everything we can to enhance our fans’ experience surrounding a given event. Our Tournament Challenge game is a great example of that.

Join the Cablefax bracket at ESPN.com and see how you compare to your industry colleagues. Register here.

 

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