The March Madness Money Trail
Update March 31 | A day after this Frontline report aired, NCAA President Mark Emmert signaled a change in position on compensating student athletes. In an interview with USA Today, he said its an idea worth exploring. Read more on the development on Frontline’s website.
Posted March 29 | The end of March Madness is near. In less than a week, one team will take home the trophy for the NCAA Championship, and the other sixty-seven teams who made it to the tournament will have left empty handed. But the participating colleges will have made millions of dollars off deals with sporting goods distributors like Nike and Adidas, and through ticket sales.
In fact, the money that the two-week long contest raises will fund the non-profit NCAA for the rest of the year. Ninety percent of the organization’s revenue, or about $700 million each year, “comes from the media rights and ticket sales for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament,” according to President Mark Emmert. The players, however, won’t see a dime.
Bergman spoke with Hari Sreenivasan about the finances of the NCAA:
Edited by Justin Scuiletti and Lauren Knapp
The money that March Madness generates and the ensuing debate over financial compensation for student players is the focus of Tuesday’s Frontline investigation. Lowell Bergman follows the money trail of the NCAA.
To help illustrate the role corporations play in the NCAA Championship, Frontline has broken down the bracket based on brand.
“Money and March Madness” is one of three pieces airing on Tuesday’s Frontline.
The newsmagazine hour also features a story on how a man dubbed the Chinese Andy Warhol, artist Ai Weiwei is using art as a tool of protest in China. And, learn more about Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking classified government information, in “The Private Life of Bradley Manning.” It’s based on an exclusive interview with Manning’s father, Brian Manning, which the NewsHour aired earlier this month.
Follow Hari Sreenivasan on Twitter.