CBS Responds to Website Crash Ahead of March Madness

March 16, 2017, 8:51 PM UTC

Talk about bad timing.

The website for CBS Sports—where college basketball fans go to fill out their March Madness brackets and live-stream the tournament games—briefly crashed on Thursday morning just before the first game of the day was set to begin. The outage occurred at roughly 11 a.m. ET, which was about an hour before tip-off for the Princeton-Notre Dame matchup.

The timing of the outage was especially poor considering that many fans were trying to fill out their tournament brackets ahead of the noon deadline. (The Princeton-Notre Dame game, the latter of which won by two points, marked the official start of the NCAA men’s tournament after a handful of play-in games took place earlier in the week.)

“During the hour before the first tip, service was down due to overwhelming demand,” a CBS Sports Digital spokesperson said in a statement issued around 1 p.m. ET on Thursday afternoon. “We certainly regret the outage but are pleased to say that service has since been restored.”

Not surprisingly, a number of miffed basketball fans took to Twitter (TWTR) to voice their displeasure after the website crashed.

While several websites allow fans to fill out their tournament picks in online March Madness brackets, CBS Sports’ website is a popular destination due to the fact that CBS (CBS) is one of the tournament’s primary broadcasters (along with Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting (TWX)). Fans can also watch any CBS broadcasts of March Madness games live online via

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The American Gaming Association estimates that Americans will fill out more than 70 million March Madness brackets this year, while wagering a total of $9.2 billion on the outcome of the tournament.