Through the first four days of the tournament, national TV advertisers spent $378.9 million -- 250 brands running 488 spots, according to iSpot.tv. This data includes CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV networks, and CBS Sports Network.
Top advertisers so far this year are AT&T, with $21.9 million in national TV advertising followed by the NCAA at $15.9 million; Capital One with $12.0 million; Southwest Airlines at $11.2 million; and Buick with $10.9 million.
A year ago, $329.9 million was spent over the first four days of the tournament -- with some 220 brands running 395 spots on the same networks. In 2015, through the first weekend, AT&T spent $20.1 million, followed by GMC at $12.3 million; Buick with $10.6 million; the NCAA at 10.1 million; and Capital One with $9.97 million.
In the first two days of the 2016 tournament, for 32 games across four networks -- CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV -- total viewers are down 6% to a Nielsen average of 8.85 million viewers; with 18-49 viewers slipping 7% to 3.0. Young men ages 18-34 are down 18% to 3.52 average ratings.
Looking at specific networks, CBS posted a Nielsen live program-plus-same day rating of 4.52 million total viewers, down 2% from a year ago; with 18-49 viewers down 4% to 1.37 Nielsen rating. TNT is down 24% to 1.6 million and is off 28% in 18-49 viewers to a 0.60 rating.
On the flip side, TBS is up 18% to 1.75 million viewers and 24% higher in 18-49 viewers to a 0.68 rating.