Why players want their cut: 2013 NCAA tournament generated $1.15 billion in ad revenue for CBS, Turner

When you see dollars in the billions, it is hard to argue that the players don’t deserve more than a few trinkets and meal money from the NCAA tournament.

This item caught my attention via Collegeathleticsclips.com. According to Kantar Media, a research firm, the 2013 NCAA tournament ad revenues generated $1.15 billion for CBS and Turner Sports.

Kantar writes:

Over the past decade (2004-2013), the NCAA men’s basketball tournament has triggered more than $6.88 billion of national TV ad spending from 269 different marketers. Ad revenue in 2013 was $1.15 billion, up 3.8 percent from the prior year.

Take a moment to think about those numbers: $1.15 billion in 2013 and $6.88 billion since 2004. Yet not one dime for the players.

In fact, the NCAAs pull in more TV ad revenue than any postseason in sports, including the NFL, which obviously has far fewer games.  It has more than doubled since 2004.

CBS and Turner need to generate that kind of money to offset its current 14-year, $10.8 billion deal with the NCAA. Then there also are the productions costs of airing all those games.

Clearly, though, it is a good deal on many levels for CBS and Turner. They own the attention of sports fans for three weeks.

The tournament also is good business for the companies and advertising firms. According to Kantar, General Motors, at $80 million, was the top NCAA advertiser last year.

Obviously, it works out well for the NCAA, coaches and administrators. They all have seen their salaries rise considerably thanks in part to the tournament.

As for the players? It’s still about the thrill of competition, right?



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