For sports fans, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament may be the most wonderful time of year. For their employers, it may be another story.
Executive search firm Challenger Gray & Christmas, Inc. estimates “March Madness” could cost employers up to $2.3 billion per hour during game broadcasts as workers head to sports bars or access livestream games from their offices.
Of course, many employers may choose to embrace the event as an employee engagement tool as well.
Regardless of whether the games are watched on the clock or not, the popularity and length of this event generates over $1.2 billion in ad revenue. By comparison the Super Bowl only brought in $500 million in ad revenue earlier this year.
Now, the rights to carry the tournament games come at a steep price as well. CBS and Turner Broadcasting, a division of Time Warner, pay the NCAA over a billion dollars each year for the exclusive rights to broadcast the game on four television channels (including Turner’s TBS, TruTV, and TNT) and online platforms.
Not surprisingly, CBS and Turner lean to the left when it comes to matters of policy and culture, a trend that 2ndVote’s research finds across the board with major media outlets. CBS has supported same-sex marriage through its sponsorship of the GLAAD media awards and by signing an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn state laws protecting traditional marriage in Obergefell. Turner’s parent company Time Warner has supported leftist positions on environmental and immigration issues by partnering with organizations such as Ceres and UnidosUS, formerly known as La Raza. Time Warner is also the parent company of CNN.
However, conservative sports fans might be interested to know these March Madness broadcasters appear much more moderate than the network that carried this year’s Super Bowl.
NBC, and parent company Comcast, receive the lowest possible scores in 2ndVote’s database. Comcast has supported leftist organizations and pushed the liberal agenda on every issue we score. Groups directly funded by Comcast and NBC include John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, also known as “Hillary’s think tank,” the National Urban League, LULAC, and Equality California.
The absence of political controversies during March Madness is worth noting, especially as the National Football League and its Super Bowl have become platforms for left-wing activism. As a result, the NFL, over the course of the past season experienced a dramatic decline in viewership, including a loss of 7.9 million viewers for the Super Bowl.
Yet, the NCAA Basketball Tournament becomes a more popular television event every year. Could it be that fans are finding more enjoyment in politics-free sports? After all, NBC appeared to welcome controversy in the weeks leading up to this years Super Bowl when an executive pledged to cover National Anthem protests if they happened.
Given the growing success of tournament, and relatively neutral narratives when it comes to coverage, one could argue the NCAA, CBS, and Turner are keeping the (political) “madness” out of March.
Encourage CBS and Turner (Time Warner) to remain neutral keep political narratives out of March Madness and focus on sports coverage by reaching out with the links below: