5 Days Of March Madness: Higher TV Ratings, Lower TV Ad Spend

The first five days of the “March Madness” college basketball event have seen rising ratings and slightly lower national TV advertising exposure and spending versus a year ago.

There have been 5,140 airings of TV ads on CBS, TNT, TBA and truTV, totaling $409.3 million in national TV revenue spent, according to iSpot.tv.

A year ago, it was $428.4 million for 5,347 airings.

AT&T Wireless has posted the highest number of airings for its commercials at 218, followed by Geico with 160; GMC at 142; Allstate, 128; Taco Bell, 128; Infiniti, 118; Capital One, 94; State Farm, 92; Lowe’s, 89, and Progressive Insurance, 87.

For its part, CBS has aired 215 on-air TV promos, while the NCAA has aired 154 spots; TNT, 117; truTV, 77; and TBS, 60.

Big spenders of a year ago were Geico, with 130 spots; Capital One, 128; Taco Bell, 123; AT&T Wireless, 116; Bud Light, 116; McDonald's, 112; DirecTV Now, 110; Samsung Mobile, 108; Infiniti, 107; and Google Cloud, 107.



So far, Nielsen ratings are up 8%, averaging a household program 6.4 rating/15 share in the metered markets -- the second-highest rating through the first weekend since 1991.

Sunday’s late afternoon/early prime-time game, where top-rated Duke prevailed over UCF in a close game, scored a big 11.9 rating/24 share — up 35% from last year's 8.8/18 for a game in that period.

NCAA March Madness social media has seen 56% higher engagements versus the same period a year ago.

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