March Madness generated $1.24 billion in advertising revenue for CBS and Turner in 2016. The two networks pay a combined $800 million per year to broadcast the NCAA tournament and that figure will increase to more than $1 billion beginning in 2024.
The advertising revenue generated for CBS and Turner was about $200 million more than the 2016 NBA Playoffs for ESPN/ABC and Turner with their figure hitting $1.031 billion. The 2015 NBA Playoffs generated $944 million. The MLB Playoffs generated $569 million in revenue in 2016, while the NFL Playoffs hit $1.318 billion.
The NBA Playoffs last almost twice as long and feature professional athletes.
The NBA is in the first year of a nine-year, $24 billion deal.