ViacomCBS could see a $350 million hit this quarter on the cancellation of the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, says one media analyst. David Miller from Imperial Capital has cut earnings forecasts for the company and his price target for the stock, which is down 16% Wednesday.
The fallout from Thursday’s coronavirus-driven cancellation of the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Tournament will be over $1 billion in ad revenue for CBS and Turner Sports. “There’s no bad guy here,” said one expert, but remedies will almost certainly have to be created.
There will be no madness this March after the NCAA on Thursday said the college tournament was canceled amid the coronavirus outbreak. The news came shortly after the AAC, SEC and Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 Tournaments were canceled.
CBS Sports and Turner Sports say Nielsen ratings for the entire tournament are up 8% from last year at 6.7, heading into Saturday’s Final Four.
Local TV stations ramp up the coverage of March Madness to share the excitement, the drama and the human interest stories beyond the scores. “That’s really all people are talking about, especially in March,” said Russ Poteet, news director for KLBK in Lubbock, Texas, home of Texas Tech.
CBS and the three Turner networks — TNT, TBS and TruTV — have sold 95% of the ad inventory in the 67 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship tournament games at a cost-per-thousand 5% to 6% higher than last year. Advertisers love the tournament and the nets love to offer it. While neither CBS nor Turner executives will comment on how much total advertising the three weeks of televised games brings in, it will likely top $1 billion.