College Hoops Final Game Spot Price up 3%: SQAD

Prices for commercials during the men’s college basketball championship game hit a record this year, ranging from $1.427 million and $1.712 million for a 30-second spot on TBS, up 3%, according to research company SQAD.

A year ago, when the final game aired on CBS, the price of a spot ranged between $1.388 million and $1.661 million.

The average cost for Final Four games was up 10.6% to between $807,283 and $966,086, SQAD said.

With Villanova blowing out Michigan, and the game moving from broadcast to cable, viewership fell to 16.5 million in Turner’s networks, down 28% from the 23 million who watched the 2017 final on CBS. When Turner last aired the championship game, in 2016, it drew 17.8 million viewers.

All of March Madness generated more than $1 billion in ad revenue, according to research and analytics firm iSpot.TV.

According to iSpot, 142 brands ran 391 different ads that aired 6,761 times during the tournament. These airings generated 20.8 billion TV ad impressions. That’s a third less than the Winter Olympics, but three times the Super Bowl.

The top advertisers during the tournament were:

· Capital One, an NCAA Corporate Champion sponsor, which spent an estimated $40.8 million in spots that aired 188 times and garnered 647.4 million impressions.

· Buick, an NCAA Corporate Partner, spending $38.3 million on 144 spots that generated 565.9 million impressions.

· AT&T Wireless, an NCAA Corporate Champion, which spent $41.6 million on 157 spots that drew 525.7 million impressions.

· Samsung Mobile, spending $31.1 million on 150 spots that generated 536.9 million impressions.

· DirecTV, an NCAA Corporate Champion (through parent AT&T), which spent $30.7 million on 145 commercials that resulted in 474.6 million impressions.

The most-seen ads during the tournament were the “Camera Re-Imagined” ad from Samsung Mobile, DirecTV Now’s “Break Up” spot, Indeed’s “Job Search” commercial, McDonald’s “Mix & Match ad and Infiniti’s “Most Advanced” commercial.

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.