Who Was the Big Winner in the NCAA College Basketball Championship Game? (It Wasn’t Duke)

Apr 8, 2015  •  Post A Comment

The big winner in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship game, aired Monday night on CBS, wasn’t Duke — even though Duke beat Wisconsin to claim the title. The big winner appears to be CBS, which pulled in $153.4 million in ad revenues for the game, according to a MediaPost report by Wayne Friedman.

That final haul topped off $1.1 billion in reported spending on the three-week “March Madness” tournament, which aired across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV.

“Sixty-one different brands appeared in 72 commercials in some 108 national TV airings on CBS for the NCAA national championship game, according to iSpot.tv, the TV commercial, movie trailer and show promotion tracking company,” Friedman reports. “Average pricing for a 30-second commercial in the game was roughly $1.5 million.”

As we reported previously, viewership for the title game was up 33% from a year ago. MediaPost reports that the game averaged 28.3 million viewers, based on Nielsen figures. The turnout was reportedly the highest in 18 years.

Friedman adds: “For the entire three-week tournament, iSpot estimates $1.07 billion was spent — 210 brands and 437 TV commercials in some 5,460 national TV airings. When including re-airing on games on CBS Sports Network, this total goes to $1.1 billion.”

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