March Madness Cashing In

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NCAA Tournament Beat 2016 NBA Playoffs in Ad Revenue

There may be no tournament as intense or fun to watch as the NCAA Tournament.

Any team, no matter the seed, can lose at any given time. Buzzer beaters, upsets, crazy finishes, incredible performances, March Madness has it all and clearly some of the world’s greatest business minds realize just that. March Madness is really cashing in on large scale companies like no other major tournament in the world, generating more dough than even the 2016 NBA Playoffs.

The NCAA Tournament has generated $1.24-billion in advertising revenue for both CBS and Turner in 2016. The two television network giants shelled out a combined $800-million per year to broadcast the tournament, a figure that is predicted to increase to more than $1-billion by 2024.

In 2010, the NCAA and CBS/Turner agreed to a 14-year, $10.8-billion deal that will run through 2024. Not even halfway through the deal, due to the insane popularity of the tournament, both parties agreed on an $8.8-billion extension that will keep the tournament airing on both networks through 2032.

What is even more incredible is that the ad revenue generated by CBS and Turner tops what the 2016 NBA Playoffs were able to do for ESPN/ABC by about $200-million. The 2015 NBA Playoffs generated $944 million. The MLB Playoffs generated $569 million in revenue in 2016, while the NFL Playoffs hit $1.318 billion.

These numbers are really crazy when you put things in perspective. The NBA Playoffs last twice as long as the NCAA Tournament and features professional athletes. Most people who tune into March Madness may not even know the names of most college kids representing their respective schools.

The NBA is currently in the first year of a nine-year, $24 billion deal.

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