If you have a great product and now how to market it, you can still make money, even in this economy. Media Week reports that CBS has nearly sold out all the ads for the online version of March Madness, CBS’s free on-demand access to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Media Week estimates CBS is pushing close to $30 million in revenue, significantly ahead of last year’s $23 million. If it hits $30 million it will be up just over 30% in revenue year over year.
Remember all the criticism of the Friday Breeders Cup and "how do you market it to fans who are stuck at work?" Well, CBS found a way to market a day time event (1st round games are on Thursday & Friday) with the online feed and even found a Sponsor for a gimmick on the site. Comcast sponsor's the "Boss Button", which according to Media Week, will enable at-work viewers to display a fake spreadsheet on their screens with a quick click of the mouse if their boss approaches while they’re watching live games.
Smart Stuff. The main value in the CBS online inventory is that people can only watch some of the early round day games in their office, making the streams a substitute for a TV that would have otherwise been used, so those fans have no choice and that spells big money (online wise-$30 million is a huge #). Compare this to marketing of horse racing-where easily accessible live streaming of major race events is difficult to find.
Oh, in case your wondering, the CBS TV ad revenue for the tournament last year was $430 million.