Emerging Tech investigate

Poll: Does your IT department block the NCAA Tournament?

Employees watching the first round of the NCAA Tournament over the Web can lead to a major loss of productivity and a huge drain on company bandwidth. As a result, some organizations prohibit users from watching it on the Web during the workday and IT departments enforce this policy with content filtering. Does your IT department block March Madness? Take our poll.

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Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

29 comments
DrunkWithPower
DrunkWithPower

My former company had TV's going during any major event, even sports. Just as long as we got our deliverables done, we could watch most of a game in the conference rooms. Though it was possible, we didn't stream them at our desks because that was taboo.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Were these events delivered via Internet streaming feed, or were they carried over cable / satellite? While loss of productivity is a major reason we block most entertainment-related sites, bandwidth is another. We can only move so much through the pipe. Those watching streamed media feeds do so at the expense of those trying to access work-related information. In the case of my plant in particular, everything we do goes through the same pipe to our corporate headquarters. Those watching sports slow not just other internet users, but voice, video, and all other data including our primary ERP application.

jasoncoachk15
jasoncoachk15

They think I am going to less productive with it. Well, tell you what, I am assuring them that I am going to be less productive without it

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

Let me know what works so that I can try it where I work. Then again, my employer tells me when I am allowed to take breaks, eat lunch, go home, so maybe nothing will work.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Ever since all sports rules were abolished sports lost all of its appeal to me.

RFink
RFink

And it's not the first post of a thread.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Succint. Surprising. Completely Cryptic. ;-)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"Ever since all sports rules were abolished..." Maybe he's on medical marijuana for glaucoma, or as an appetite simulant, or something. When we have the technology to understand exactly what others are thinking, he'll be the first one on my list.

twilkinson4
twilkinson4

It would be un-American and there would be rioting in the cubicles...

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

If it isn't dry and boring, they block it. End of story.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

Sounds like one of my people! We actually blocked a few pages that were linked off of our corporate webpage. Stupid content rules, wasn't my fault this time!

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Take our poll: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/hiner/?p=619 If you do filter, do you just filter the basketball games or do you also filter other sports and gambling sites?

chiefywiggum
chiefywiggum

should block it here, but i will double check to make sure. we can't handle the bandwidth. not to go on a rant or anything, but isn't the workplace a place TO DO WORK? if you want to watch the tourney, take a day off. if you bust your ass all the time, your boss may even give you some paid time off / comp time. and what exactly is the fasination with watching TV on a PC screen instead of, um.... a large TV screen? sorry, i feel better now.

Lizzie_B
Lizzie_B

I'm not aware of anyone in our office who is interested in basketball. We're small enough and informal enough that if anyone is interested, I won't block access unless it's demonstrably interfering with our not-too-fast net connection. Our staff works hard enough most of the time that if the NCAA tournament is their thing, I would not want to deny them the pleasure - after all, nobody objects to my watching NASA TV at work... Off Topic - Great sadness - RIP Sir Arthur C. Clarke - my heart is weeping

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

About %75 of our employees are college graduates. Naturally everyone wants to follow their team?s progress in the tournament. We block it and all the local conferences as well, but it is part of a larger policy. We actually just got a larger pipe and relaxed our filters a bit. We now allow streaming media but we use a packet shaper and filter the streaming content down to around dial up speeds (I know, that?s evil!). We do however keep a conference room open with the tournament playing on a projector. Everyone is welcome to come by for lunch?.and provide the IT staff with free food. :)

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

"We do however keep a conference room open with the tournament playing on a projector. Everyone is welcome to come by for lunch?.and provide the IT staff with free food."

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

If we don't offer some middle ground in this case, the will be pitchforks and torches down the hall. :| Not to mention I want to watch it myself, go Heels!!!

imonroe
imonroe

you are the IT dept. We block streaming video, but a change may be made for the next week or so. Gig'Em Aggies

Jaqui
Jaqui

it's basketball, I was wondering what ncaa was. since I have zero interest in watching any sporting event, I don't even think about watching it online.

RFink
RFink

National Collegiate Athletic Association. It requlates everything from the rules of the games to recruiting players and everything in between. It's primary purpose is to ensure a level playing field for all of the member colleges and universities. www.ncaa.org It's two biggest events of the year is March Madness (basketball) and bowl season (american football). EDITED -- Typo

RFink
RFink

Turn the larger schools against the smaller schools by taking the revenue earned because of the big schools and giving it to the smaller schools in the name of fairness. Otherwise you're correct. I was being nice. :)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"It's primary purpose is to ensure a level playing field for all of the member colleges and universities." Gee, I though it was to enable collegiate administrations to make as much money as possible off athletes by simultaneously depriving those athletes of any of the income derived from their labor, convincing the excellent athletes not to turn pro so the schools can keep making money off them, and convincing the weaker ones that they'll be able to turn pro if they'll just get one more year of college experience before tossing them aside with neither the necessary experience or a viable degree. Oh, did I say that out loud?

Jaqui
Jaqui

subject of zero interest for me. now, if exotic dancing was being streamed, well that would have my attention ]:)

dryflies
dryflies

NCAA oversees all college sports in the US-- including soccer, rugby, Football, Baseball, swimming, wrestling, basketball, etc.

Snak
Snak

For letting me know that the NCAA is about basketball. I was looking for the 'No we don't block it 'cos we don't care' button but there wasn't one. Now if it was the (Soccer) World Cup.....

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

Because we all watch the World Cup, EPL, and other league games religiously, and we're in the USA!

Snak
Snak

I don't think so, although of course TV channels do stream bits. However, we have a TV set in our office. Employers, or at least the enlightened ones, know that no matter what they do, some events will be watched by hook or by crook, so they accept it and realise that 50% of a workforce's attention for 90 minutes is probably better than having half of them phone in sick, lol. Actually, being an education establishment we have to facilitate streaming video rather than constrain it so we'd be on a hiding to nothing to even try I think.

RFink
RFink

I don't watch it either unless I can't sleep. I still have a game from last year's tournament on my DVR for that purpose. :) Basketball is a great game to referee but watching it puts me to sleep. It's like chess in that aspect. I agree the World Cup is where it's at. I also like the Serie A, EPL, and a few other European leauges. The MLS is getting there but it'll be a few years yet.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

If so, that would have essentially the same effect for international folks as the NCAA Tournament does for us in the United States.