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The Real Cost of March Madness

By Ben Steverman, with Eben Novy-Williams and Seth Magalaner - 2012-03-21T23:12:14Z

Photograph by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

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Broadcast Rights

In 2010, CBS Sports and Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting signed a $10.8 billion deal to broadcast every game of the men's basketball tournament for 14 years. That works out to more than $770 million per year.

ESPN has the rights to broadcast the women's tournament. In December, the network, owned by Walt Disney Co., renewed those rights through 2024 for $500 million, a deal that also included international rights to the men's tournament and worldwide rights to 23 other NCAA men's and women's tournaments, from ice hockey and track to fencing and bowling.

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