The Top 10 Reasons CBS is Back for March Madness

Sunday is the NCAA tournament bracket selection show on CBS (ticker: CBS). So, with March Madness in the air, I thought I would take a page out of David Letterman’s book and highlight a CBS Top Ten for you:

10) CBS owns the rights to March Madness. CBS has a $6 billion, 11-year rights deal with the NCAA for the Tourney, with three years and $2.1 billion remaining. CBS pays the NCAA a licensing fee of roughly $610 million.

9) New mobile products for the NCAA March Madness Championship are rolling out so you can have the tourney at your fingertips.

8) Leno’s return to late-night television was too late! David Letterman’s Late Show earned 271 million ad dollars in 09 vs. The Tonight Show earning 175.9 million ad dollars in 09.

7) According to Ad Age, from September 21, 2009 to February 14, 2010, Letterman’s audience was 4.2 million viewers vs. The Tonight Show‘s total audience of 2.92 million viewers during a longer period from June 1,  2009 to January 24, 2010.

6) CBS’s total advertising revenues tied to the tourney are roughly $600 million — third to just the World Series and the Super Bowl.

5) According to WPP-owned Kantar Media, CBS’s online March Madness revenue totaled 5 percent of the overall $600 million-plus ad revenue pie last year, up from 3.5 percent the year before and expected to edge even higher this year.

4) Fun fact: office pool betting tallied across the U.S. reaches more than $3 billion for the NCAA tournament this year, with the online CBS tourney brackets being utilized the most of any online options.

3) Tiger Woods is planning his return to golf later this month in preparation for the second most-watched sports event of the year, the Masters, aired by CBS in April.

2) Insider Sumner Redstone owns more than a half million shares of stock in CBS, now more shares than Viacom (ticker: VIA-B) (see my other Haute Investing Article)

1) CBS’s stock is up 375 percent from its March 09 low a year ago.

In the words of Dickie V, CBS and March Madness is “totally awesome baby!”

To read more of Derek’s investing insights, visit Wall St. Cheat Sheet

Disclosure: No positions held in any of the companies mentioned in this article