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March Madness By The Numbers


With the annual NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament set to kick off in earnest today, offices around the country are bracing for a drop in productivity as the games begin. Billions, meanwhile, will be spent on pools, such as the ones found in offices across the country. Last year, nearly 24 million people participated in March Madness pools, spending over $2.6 billion in entry fees, according to a recent survey from polling firm The Mellman Group. March Madness is so captivating for basketball fans that as many as one-fifth of people in one survey admitted sneaking off to the bathroom to catch the action. Here are some fun March Madness facts:

$10 billion: The amount that will be wagered on this year’s tournament, only $300 million of which will be done legally at sports books in Las Vegas, according to the American Gaming Association.

35 hours: The number of hours March Madness games and related coverage that was broadcast across CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV during the 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. traditional working hours on the East Coast last year.

55.8%: The percentage of Millennials willing to miss a work deadline to watch a March Madness game, according to The Tylt, an online polling platform.

98 million: The number of live video streams of March Madness Live, CBS and Turner’s live streaming website and app, during last year’s tournament.

20%: The percentage of people who watched March Madness games from their office bathroom according to a survey by Intuit’s TSheets while 24% said they watched games during a meeting. In a separate question, 21% of respondents said that they started work early to free up time to watch the games with 12% staying later to make sure their work is done.

16.9%: Percentage of respondents who said their boss watches games with them, according to the TSheets survey, while 8.8% of respondents said their boss encourages watching the games.

$2.3 billion: The amount of money in lost productivity due to March Madness, according to outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

$8.8 billion: The amount of money CBS Sports and Turner will pay the NCAA to extend their March Madness broadcast rights through 2032. The original agreement, signed in 2011, paid the NCAA over $10.8 billion and was set to expire in 2024.

300%: The increase in merchandise sales for the two teams that advanced out of last year’s Final Four (North Carolina and Gonzaga) in the week after the title game was played compared to the same span in 2016 according to Adobe Analytics.

$0: The amount of money the NCAA pays to the players participating in the tournament.