SBD/Issue 112/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

CBS Says Ad Space About 90% Sold Out For NCAA Men's Hoop Tourney

NCAA Tourny Has Several
New Advertisers
CBS Sports Exec VP/Sales John Bogusz said that advertising for CBS' upcoming coverage of the NCAA men's basketball tournament is "approximately 90[%] sold out at prices that are roughly in line with last year," according to Steve McClellan of ADWEEK. New advertisers this year include Charles Schwab, Hershey and Audi. However, Liberty Mutual, which sponsored the coverage last year, is "not returning." Bogusz said that this year's televised tournament coverage, scheduled to begin March 19, is "commanding roughly the same pricing as last year, although some buyers are reporting price hikes of 2-3[%], depending on the package." The total volume of network sales is "expected to be about even with last year" at about $430M. Sources said that a 30-second spot in the Final Four and championship game is "priced between [$1.3-1.4M], while spots in earlier rounds are going for about $350,000, similar to last year's prices." GM, Coca-Cola and AT&T will "return as top-tier sponsors of the telecast." Meanwhile, Bogusz said that while broadcast sales are "flat, the network's online March Madness On Demand video-streaming service will grow significantly this year in both audience and ad revenue." He estimated that the level of growth for both of those metrics would be "in the high-teen or low-20[%] range" (ADWEEK.com, 2/25). BROADCASTING & CABLE's Claire Atkinson reports CBS is "working with a number of advertising and marketing partners" who help support the tournament, including Enterprise Rent-a-Car, The Hartford Financial Group, Lowe's, State Farm and Starwood Hotels. But Bogusz "described the online marketplace as being equally challenged overall." Bogusz: "We've done OK with auto business, movies will be up and financial business is down" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 2/25).

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