March Madness Scored $1.2B In TV Ad Sales

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament continues to score steady gains in national TV revenues.

Kantar Media says “March Madness” generated $1.24 billion in national TV advertising spending in 2016 airings on CBS and Turner networks (TBS, TNT and truTV), up 4.7% versus 2015.

Kantar says these gains are in line with 2% to 5% annual gains -- keeping pace with annual TV rights fees increases.

March Madness, says the media research company, is the second-biggest-grossing post-season franchise after the NFL post-season national ad spending, which totals $1.32 billion.

The NBA post-season pulls in $1.03 billion, with Major League Baseball’s post-season, at $569 million and the NCAA football bowl games at $358 million.

General Motors was the biggest spender in March Madness a year ago, at $93 million. AT&T was next at $80 million; Coca-Cola, $47 million; Capital One Financial, $46 million; Volkswagen, $39 million; Berkshire Hathaway, $38 million; Southwest Airlines, $35 million; Anheuser-Busch, $31 million; Nissan Motor, $28 million; and Unilever, $27 million.

Eight of the top 10 TV advertisers have participated for at least 10 consecutive years.

Kantar says the three-week tournament last year had 95 different marketers, with 10 running spots only during the first week of the event. Some 61 of the 95 TV advertisers ran TV ads in all three weeks.

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