2015 March Madness Drew $1.2B Ad Revenue

The big dance that is the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament draws big ad bucks.

In fact, according to a report by Kantar Media, college hoops’ March Madness is second only to NFL football in terms of generating ad spending.

Last year, the NFL playoffs generated $1.25 billion in revenue, followed by the NCAA tournament at $1.19 billion, the NBA playoffs at $944 million, Major League Baseball at $415 million, and NCAA Football Bowl games at $314 million.

Kantar says Turner and CBS, which will televise the tournament, are posed to exceed last year’s total, which was up 4.8% from 2014.

The cost for spots in the championship games have also moved up. Last year, 30-second spots cost $1.5 million, up 5% from the previous year.

The biggest advertisers in March Madness last year were NCAA sponsors, led by General Motors at $93.3 million, AT&T at $75.2 million and Capital One at $44.8 million.

Kantar notes that while the tournament runs 21 days, like some of the Cinderella teams, some advertisers only run spots during the first week of the event, including Dish Network, Target and 7-Eleven. But 50 of the 96 March Madness advertisers ran spots during all three weeks.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.