NCAA March Madness Tournament Advertising Virtually Sold Out For CBS, Turner

The CBS and Turner Sports airing of “NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament” is virtually sold out for advertising with pricing “very close to double-digit” percentage gains over last year’s event, according to John Bogusz, executive vice president of sports sales and marketing of CBS Network Sales.

The price range for a 30-second commercial is from “a couple of hundred thousand dollars” for early round games to “well over two million dollars for the championship game,” said Bogusz during a press conference on Tuesday. He added: “For all practical purposes we are sold out.”

When asked whether the tournament will pull in around $1 billion in national TV advertising spend on both CBS and Turner networks, Bogusz said the company could not provide an "overall number." He added: [But] you are in the range with that number.”



Network advertising executives say that when it comes to make-good guarantees for advertisers, most marketers will be made whole -- in terms of adding commercials achieving their promised rating guarantees for their media plans during the three-week run of the event. 

All 67 games of the tournament will air across four networks --- CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV.

Last year, said, the entire tournament was estimated to pull in $1.13 billion in advertising on CBS/Turner Networks -- coming from 10,262 airings, resulting in 21.2 billion impressions. Major advertisers included AT&T, Geico, Capital One, and Samsung Mobile.

When questioned about whether the delay of the upcoming Major League Baseball season will have any effect on advertising business for the NCAA tournament, Jon Diament, executive vice president and chief revenue officer, Turner Sports -- which has MLB content -- says baseball TV marketers “are holding. It’s a wait and see... We haven’t seen any money move out of there yet.”

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