SBD/March 30, 2012/Media

Turner, CBS Report Nearly $60M In Ad Sales For Digital Viewing of NCAA Tournament

Time spent mobile streaming was up 40% year-over-year for first two days '12 tourney
Turner and CBSSports.com have brought in approximately $60M “for ad sales around digital viewing of NCAA tournament games this year,” according to sources cited by Jason Del Rey of AD AGE. Ad sales for web streaming of March Madness “has grown each year, to nearly double the $32 million sold for the 2009 tournament.” The $60M “does not include revenue from the one-time fee of $3.99 that the companies charged for March Madness Live.” Turner said that NCAA.com and March Madness Live “registered 31.3 million visits across all platforms (flat with last year) from Selection Sunday through the first Sunday of tournament games.” Time spent mobile streaming “was up 40% year-over-year for the first two days and 36% for the first weekend of play.” The company “did not release details on total hours of consumption, as was the practice in the past” (ADAGE.com, 3/29).

COACHES UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes in no other sport "does a coach get as much TV face time than in college basketball." For many years, "members of the media ... have focused on successful college basketball coaches, no matter their personality." Former coaches Dean Smith, Bob Knight and the late John Wooden all "brought a consistent performance and storyline, which translated into megabucks for universities and TV networks airing big time college basketball." All through this year's NCAA tournament, Kentucky coach John Calipari, has put two previous Final Four teams on probation, but he has been "anointed as the singular coach who acquires players for a year and magically gets them to sacrifice individual styles for the good of the team." Louisville coach Rick Pitino also "has been deified," and the school's run in this year's tournament "has seemingly erased [the] part of Pitino's life from his permanent record" that includes an extortion attempt in '09 by a woman with whom he admitted having an affair (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/30). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand notes that syndicated radio host Jim Rome appears Saturday on CBS' Final Four with a "taped joint interview" of Calipari and Pitino (USA TODAY, 3/30).

PICKING THE BETTER GAME: In Las Vegas, Ed Graney writes it "became obvious when Final Four matchups were set which semifinal the NCAA and TV executives believed to be the better game for college basketball's largest annual party Saturday." While Louisville-Kentucky "is personal" and has "everything such a moment desires," it is "just not the best game." Kansas-Ohio State will be the second game shown Saturday, "and there is a reason for such prime-time placement." Graney: "For as much hatred as fans of the Wildcats and Cardinals feel for each other, this is about showing the premier matchup when most people are watching" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 3/30).
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