March Madness could cost nation's businesses a bundle - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

March Madness could cost nation's businesses a bundle

(New York-AP) February 28, 2006 - With the start of the annual NCAA men's basketball championship tournament just around the corner, it's a good bet fans are cheering the CBS Sports' decision to offer free online viewing.

At the same time, global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas says it's unlikely that America's bosses are jumping through hoops.

CG&C says companies will undoubtedly see a significant drop-off in worker productivity. It estimates that for every 13 and a-half minutes workers spend on the Internet watching for the next three weeks, the cost to employers in lost wages alone exceeds $237 million.

Over the 16 days of the tournament the total loss could climb as high as $3.8 billion.

CEO John Challenger suggests employers might want to expand their Internet blockers to include college basketball sites and encourage workers to refrain from watching entire games at their desks.

He also suggests keeping a TV in a break room tuned to coverage.

Posted 12:35pm by Bryce Mursch

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