NCAA's March Madness Has Higher Viewing, But Flat Ad Revenues

Through the first two big weekends of the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, ratings are higher for national TV advertising -- although revenue is mostly flat versus a year ago.

Advertising has amounted to 6,284 commercial airings totaling $763.8 million in national TV advertising versus 6,529 commercial airings in 2018, amounting to $790.2 million, according to

Nielsen says live game coverage across CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV is averaging a 6.7 household rating/15 share in the metered markets, up 8% over last year’s 6.2/13, based on metered market delivery.

Total viewer impressions are 24.1 billion so far versus 19.3 billion a year ago, according to Data includes national linear, time-shifted, local, video-on-demand (VOD), and over-the-top (OTT) platforms.



Top brands this year, according to, are AT&T Wireless with 277 commercial airings. Geico is at 190; GMC, 157; Taco Bell, 156; Allstate, 140; Buick, 130; Infiniti, 128; Capital One, 122; Progressive Insurance, 119; State Farm, 109; Lowe’s, 106; Coca-Cola, 100; Buffalo Wild Wings, 97; and Apple iPhone, 92.

Looking at promotional airings: CBS is at 302 TV on-air program promos; NCAA, 192; TNT, 146; truTV, 77; TBS, 71; CBS All Access, 21; and CBS Sports Network, 19.

A year ago: Capital One was at 178 airings, followed by Geico at 158; AT&T Wireless with 152; Google Cloud ,149; Taco Bell, 148; Samsung Mobile, 144; Bud Light, 141; Buick, 137; McDonald's, 131; Infiniti, 115; GMC, 114; State Farm, 110; and Warner Bros., 104.

In 2018, CBS had 281 airings, while NCAA came in at 274, followed by TBS at 165; TNT, 96; truTV, 83; and CBS Sports Network, 22.

1 comment about "NCAA's March Madness Has Higher Viewing, But Flat Ad Revenues".
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  1. Bill Shane from Eastlan Ratings, April 3, 2019 at 1:54 p.m.

    How's ESPN doing with the women's NCAA March Madness?

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