It’s no secret that the NCAA Tournament is one of the biggest sporting events in the world today. For three weeks fans are glued to their TVs and mobile devices to catch the action.

This creates a huge platform for companies to advertise their products to consumers. You aren’t going to believe just how much March Madness generates in TV advertising.

Dating back to 2005 the Big Dance has pocketed $8.5 Billion on tournament advertising. Nearly half of that has come in the last 5 years.

For the live game broadcasts in 2015, companies shelled out $1.07 billion.

You might be surprised just how many companies take part. There were 201 different brands that accounted for the revenue last year.

Believe it not, 2015’s numbers were actually a slight dip from the $1.13 billion they netted in 2014. It was the first time the total dropped from the previous year since 2009.

The money generated does include programming for both the pre-game and post-game telecasts.

I’ve included a table below that breaks down the revenue gained for each year since 2005.

National TV Ad Revenue

YearRevenue
2005$479,000,000
2006$504,000,000
2007$525,000,000
2008$648,000,000
2009$598,000,000
2010$623,000,000
2011$782,000,000
2012$1,095,000,000
2013$1,117,000,000
2014$1,134,000,000
2015$1,070,000,000
TOTAL$8,575,000,000

Looking at the table above, I’m sure most of you will notice the big jump from 2011 to 2012. Note that 2011 is when they made a significant change. They started airing every game nationally on CBS or Turner Broadcasting (TBS, TNT, truTV).

The only other sporting events that can compare are the NFL Playoffs, Olympics and World Cup. To put it in perspective the 2014 NFL postseason was just slightly ahead at 1.23 billion.

We all know that commercials are a big part of the Super Bowl. What about March Madness? Do companies spend the same kind of cash to be a part of the dance in March?

The key thing to keep in mind is the Super Bowl is one game. There are 63 games spanning over 3 weeks during tournament time.

It’s going to cost more for a commercial in the Super Bowl than it does for one game in the tournament. For comparison purposes. The average 30-second commercial for the 2016 Super Bowl was $5 million.

The cost for an ad in the college basketball tournament varies on when it is aired. It all comes down to when the commercial airs. The deeper we get into the tournament, the bigger the price of a commercial.

I was able to come across the numbers of how much it cost to run an ad during the championship game. Last year the average price was just over 1.56 million. Slightly up from the $1.49 million cost in 2014.

Championship Game Commercial Prices (30-Seconds)

YearRevenue
2003$827,000
2004$907,000
2005$1,030,000
2006$1,118,000
2007$1,256,000
2008$1,242,000
2009$1,195,000
2010$1,222,000
2011$1,242,000
2012$1,341,000
2013$1,422,000
2014$1,493,000
2015$1,564,000