Friday, February 11, 2011

TV deal allows staggered starts in NCAA tournament


— The NCAA Tournament’s new TV deal will allow for more staggered starts of games, so all those buzzer-beaters aren’t happening at the same time.

The contract signed in April with CBS and Turner Sports meant all games would be televised live nationally for the first time. Because Turner’s three cable channels don’t have the same commitments to the nightly news and other regular programming as CBS, the tournament games will be more spread out starting this season.

That includes prime time games on TBS, TNT and truTV during the first Sunday, the networks announced Thursday.

Last season, when only CBS broadcast games, the first three contests on the opening Thursday afternoon started within 10 minutes of each other. Even for fans who had access to all the games through the free stream on the Internet or by buying the TV package, that often meant multiple matchups going down to the wire at the same time.

“That wasn’t good enough,” said Turner Sports senior vice president Christina Miller. “What was going to be good enough was if we stagger it and let people catch each game or at least capture the big moments at the end of everything.”

Now those games will start at least 30 minutes apart.

The new way of watching March Madness was made possible when CBS and Turner signed a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal, with the NCAA deciding to expand from 65 only to 68 teams, not 96. The contract kept the regional finals and Final Four on CBS through 2015. The regional semifinals will be split between CBS and TBS this season.


Dyrk Dugan 8 years, 11 months ago

this is the by product isn't it? i mean that's why we have TNT they could do all the games. i don't quite understand why this is a story....but i guess it is. let's keep Tyrel Reel keepin on for the Sr. Class award.

Ryan Gerstner 8 years, 11 months ago

Are you kidding? This is a huge story. For every college basketball fan that's been frustrated by having 3 good games all finishing at the same time. This is long overdue. Frankly, it's amazing it took until 2011 to fix it.

KU_FanSince75 8 years, 11 months ago

I agree----before CBS grabbed the cookies, I believe ESPN did a wonderful job televising March Madness and had several games on their different networks. Still had the problem of several games finishing at the same time. Of course, it didn't last long because CBS wanted the rights to televise.

Saguaro_Jayhawk 8 years, 11 months ago

espn won the rights to telecast the first weekend of the NCAA Tourney in 1982 away from NBC. CBS had rounds 3-6 from 1982-1990, then were awarded all 6 rounds starting with 1991 Tourney.

espn was able to telecast all 16 games on each opening day [Thurs & Fri 1st weekend] on only one network, espn, as espn2 would not exist until 1993. They had a knack for knowing when to do live look-ins and more importantly when to take or not take commercial breaks.

CBS's producers have often been oblivious about when to break for commercials and as a result try to catch up on the reconnect which often doesn't work very well.

Steve Brown 8 years, 11 months ago

So many times if a game became a blow out and you were wathcing in another part of the country they would switch local broadcast away from the Hawks' and were left blind to the final minutes or didn't get to watch the scubs play. Then we got web based solutions. Orignally ESPN had the first two weeks and CBS the final four and ESPN did a fab. job showing most of the games. Times they are a changing and this modification for 98% of us with cable seems a good solution. I have read that if/when they move our game off CBS we can suft over to TNT and catch the end of it. we'll see. The first sentence in 2nd paragraph is nice, but rather it say, all the games and all of the game will be televised .

Steve Brown 8 years, 11 months ago

Who gets to dance in March: How many do we get in the tourney?

Assume the following from Pomery, then who goes from Big 12. These are assumptions of records prior to the Sprint Tourney.

Texas 15-1:27-4 Kansas 14-2: 29-2 TxAM 9-7:22-8 Missou 9-7:23-8 Baylor 8-8:19-11 OkState 7-9:19-11 Nebrska 7-9:19-11 KellyGate 7-9:19-12 Colorado 7-9: 18-13

Looks like one of the 7-9 teams will have to find a hot hand in KC Sprint Tournament.

RockCaCO3 8 years, 11 months ago

Those records are assumed by Pomery? Wonder who they think is going to beat KU again? I think UTs only loss prior to the Big Dance will be KU at Sprint.

ParisHawk 8 years, 11 months ago

Records are projected based on overall percentages. If you have 8 games left and you have one chance in four of losing each game, you should theoretically win 6 and lose 2, even if you are favored in each individual game.

KUFan90 8 years, 11 months ago

Doesn't this basically make March Madness packages like those from DirecTV obsolete? Would that start this year?

If we'll get every game between CBS and TNT this year the I'll cancel my March Madness package...

R2D2 8 years, 11 months ago

DirecTV has discontinued their Mega March Madness package so it is no longer an option for those who have used it in the past.

BCRavenJHawkfan 8 years, 11 months ago

Can we also assume that with four channels total there will be complete regional coverage! As opposed to regional coverage based on your area.

And if that is the case please let KU be in the region that TBS or TNT handles. Got to break the 2nd round CBS jinx.

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 11 months ago

Will we end up with some obscure sports "has-beens" calling the games on these Turner networks? It's always been a hodgepodge of commentators at tournament time anyway, but now, who knows who we may have to endure. We may even miss Dickie V!

David Gordon 8 years, 11 months ago

Anybody but that "turible" Charles Barkley!

waywardJay 8 years, 11 months ago

Dickie V is paid by espn and espn only.... He's a relative absent during the time of which th most important basketball goes on.

Personally, It's a double edged sword because I think bilas might be one of the best announcers in the game, He's fairly unbiased ( he still leans to Duke, but otherwise is very asstute about the game ) and he is very informative.

We lose Dickie V, but we also lose Bilas.

Be prepared for Reed Gettis and Clark Kellogg. It's almost March !

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