March Madness: How the NCAA Helps You Get Away With Watching Games At Work

March Madness is probably the next big thing after the Super Bowl event. Advertisers are probably paying an arm and a leg just to get spots in this 3-week event. The games are available in multiple TV stations now such as the CBS, TNT, TBS, and TRU. This tells you how a lot of these stations are lining up to get a piece of this big revenue stream.

Super Bowl and March Madness are popular because you can make an event within an event. There are office pools left and right, brackets with ESPN and CBS Sports or what have you. More people are watching because every body has a stake on it. People will be rooting for the teams on their bracket and will be watching the games even if they are not a big college basketball fan.

“March Madness easily beat  the deciding series for both the NBA and MLB as the former generated $417.7 million in ad sales while baseball’s playoff and fall classic attracted $353 million. According to CBS sports, the MMOD app last year served up 8.3 million, up 11 % from 2009.” Source: Ad Week

How NCAA Helps You Get Away With Watching Games At Work

They said that the week of the NCAA tournament is the most unproductive week in United States because people are busy filling out their brackets and watching the games even at work. Thursday and Fridays are probably the busiest because this is an all day event that starts at 9:00 AM Pacific Time. In addition to the TV coverage, NCAA also offers online coverage where you can watch any games that you want while at work on your computer.  The funny thing about this is the games televised online has a “BOSS BUTTON” where you can click it  and the screen changes into an e-mail memo talking about work related stuff. This way, you can pretend that you are working when your boss suddenly walks in.

Another way that the NCAA helps you get away is by offering the March Madness On Demand as an app on your smart phones. You can download and install it for free that will help you watch games, keep track of the scores, alerts you when there is a potential upset, alerts you when the game is going in overtime, alerts you when your team are losing, etc.

Do You Pick The Money or Your School?

We don’t have a bracket pool in our office but I do join the ones with my friends. It is a small pool and we did it just for fun. On the pool that I joined back in 2006 when Florida faced UCLA in the finals, a Florida alumni pick UCLA to win it all. On the other hand, a UCLA alumni pick Florida to win it. How ironic is it?

Now, if you have to choose, would you choose the money or your school? The good thing about that dilemma is that whatever happens you’ll be OK since you win either way. If this is a big pot, I would probably choose the pot. However, if my school has not won a championship, maybe I’ll pick the school because I can probably win the money next time. In the case of the Florida alumni, he did not care if he loses the money as long as Florida wins since it has not won a championship title yet. And even if your choice did not pan out, you still have a very good consolation prize that you can cherish!!

Pool winnings Are Also Taxable

If you win money on any gambling event, you will need to report the winnings on your tax return and pay taxes on that. It does not matter how you win it: Whether you win in a poker game, office pools, casino, prizes, etc. But most people probably will not report the winnings since it would be “untraceable” by the IRS.

In addition, if you play a lot and wage at the casino as well, the winnings from that are taxable as well. However, if you have losses, gambling losses are only deductible up to the amount of the winnings. For a clear explanation on how this thing works, please read the article on How to report gambling winnings and losses.


  1. The “Boss Button” idea is funny, and probably not a bad idea for some folks! Personally, I don’t watch games at work and wouldn’t mess with it (despite being a huge sports fan), but if someone’s going to take the chance – why not employ the Boss Button?

    • Ken says

      The memo on the e-mail is hilarious especially when you try it on the weekends. Anyways, whoever created that is really funny!