March Madness

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The NCAA men's basketball tournament begins in earnest Thursday, with 16 games scheduled. And 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 America's bosses are jumping through hoops.

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

Over the 16 days of the tournament, the total loss could climb as high as three-point-eight (b) billion dollars.

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.