TV’s real influence on the economy comes in what it can take away -– especially this month. But there may be a silver lining by way of TV advertising.
According to surveys, those watching the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament this month at work will cost the U.S. economy some $175 million in lost productivity.
Why? Well, that may be obvious. Many are watching the tournament during the day when they should be working. Some will go further. One in seven will call in sick.
Are corporate IT guys working furiously this time of year to monitor this? Or do they just have a semi-blind eye? That may not make a difference, especially with the growing number of smartphones and tablets.
The beneficiaries are CBS and Turner Broadcasting, both of whom gain viewership during the day –- either digitally or via TV sets at home. Less benefit may come from those watching on TV sets in bars, restaurants and other places where it’s harder to quantify the audience. Then again, we imagine some bar tabs will run higher.
I’m sure if the Super Bowl were held on a Wednesday, the U.S. economy would lose more than $175 million worth of U.S. productivity. Long ago Major League Baseball stopped playing World Series day games -- apart from some rescheduling due to rain-outs -- because people couldn’t take off work to go to the game or watch it at home.
In fact, 86% percent of the workforce will watch some of the NCAA tournament. On the other end of things, a much smaller group of workers will watch about five hours of their favorite team during the first week of the big basketball event
Then again, some businesses are taking an “if you can’t beat them, join them” philosophy by putting TV sets tuned to the tournament in break rooms and other areas.
Overall -- as with most things entertainment-oriented -- TV can take away and give back. Advertisers will look to make hay, hoping for a lot of consumer-product spending spurred on by millions of dollars spent on media plans for high-priced commercials.