Companies spent $2.8 billion to advertise on US sports broadcasts in the first three months of this year according to Nielsen Media Research - an 87% increase on the same period a year earlier when
about $1.5 billion was spent. The turnaround, which is in line with an overall rise in US advertising spend of 0.4%, comes in a period that included the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, the NCAA
college basketball championships and the Super Bowl. Excluding the Winter Olympics, US advertisers committed about $1.7 billion to sports programming in the first period of 2002 with companies
spending $472 million on NFL broadcasts and $108 million on NBA coverage. Spend on college basketball rose 13% to $439 million from $389 million in 2001.