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Super Bowl to cost employers $821M
Workers' chats about the game will take a big toll on U.S. companies, firm estimates.
January 22, 2004: 1:32 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Good thing March Madness and the Super Bowl don't fall in the same week.

Water-cooler chatter about this year's Super Bowl could cost employers $821 million or more, according to estimates by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

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The firm arrived at the figure by assuming that the average employee will talk about the Super Bowl for 10 minutes in the days leading up to and after the Feb. 1 game.

The NCAA men's basketball "March Madness" tournament cost employers an estimated $1.4 billion last year, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

While the March Madness impact is bigger in total dollars, the Super Bowl is by far the most costly single game to employers.

The Super Bowl is also the most costly for advertisers. A 30-second spot during this year's game on CBS hit a record, selling for an average of $2.3 million.

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Challenger, Gray & Christmas calculated the employer loss by dividing the average hourly wage, $15.52, by six to determine the average amount earned every 10 minutes, or $2.59.

It then multiplied the $2.59 by 52,870,000, or the estimated number of employed Super Bowl viewers.

The firm said that figure represents 62.2 percent of the estimated 85 million U.S. viewers who watch the Super Bowl each year. That was the rough percentage of the U.S. population employed in December, it added.  Top of page

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