Sponsors spend more than $US1.1 billion buying air time for TV commercials during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. That is topped only by the NFL playoffs when it comes to TV ad revenue generated during major postseason sporting events in North America.
Of course, the NCAA Tournament has 67 games, 56 more than the NFL playoffs. However, even if we look at the price tag for individual commercials, the tournament’s championship game is on par with some of the biggest NFL playoff games.
In 2014, the average cost for a 30-second commercial on CBS during the men’s basketball championship game was $US1.49 million according to data collected by Kantar Media. That is just behind the AFC and NFC championship games ($US1.78 million per 30 seconds) and well ahead of other major events such as the MLB All-Star Game ($US0.59 million) and a 30-second ad during the NBA Finals ($US0.52 million).
That is an absurd amount of money for a so-called “amateur sporting event.” Of course, the only thing truly amateur about the NCAA Tournament anymore is the unpaid players.
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