March Madness sells out online


basketball_small.jpgADOTAS — The chance to get advertising in front of college basketball fanatics online has pulled in millions for CBS.

The network is nearly sold out of inventory and is approaching $30 million in ad revenue for its web video that allows fans to live stream the 60-plus tournament games it televises, with about two weeks to go before the start of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The revenue will definitely see an increase “well north of 20 percent more” than last year’s record $23 million, according to Mediaweek.

The quality of the inventory and size of the audience has combined to make it an easy web buy for advertisers. AT&T, Coke and Pontiac are sponsors. A record 4.7 million unique viewers live streamed the games last year. CBS does not anticipate extended wait periods for users looking to access live games because of heavy demand this year.

For the at-work-slackers, there will be “boss button” – which enables viewers to display a fake spreadsheet on their screens with a click of the mouse.


  1. Hi Edward,

    Just wondering if the regular network sales are also going to be up this year. Do you have any idea?



  2. Michael,
    Les Moonves said in Ad Week in January that sales for March Madness were slower than expected. Now whether he used the overall web and tv number, I’m not sure. I haven’t seen an hard numbers out there yet.


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