How every NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament game gets televised

By Jason Bryden
Elm Senior Writer

Back in 2010, the contract for televising the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship was up after the NCAA had opted out of the current 11-year deal and CBS, which has televised part of the entire Tournament since 1982, was in jeopardy of losing it to ESPN of FOX Sports.

Knowing it needed help to keep the tournament, the station found a partner in Turner Sports. Together they were able to keep the NCAA Tournament by signing a 14-year deal with CBS and Turner to broadcast the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship through the 2024 Tournament.

The result of this new deal: every game would be available across the country on CBS, TBS, TNT, or TruTV beginning with the 2011 Tournament. This means that during the second round of the NCAA Tournament, there are up to four games on at once on the four channels.

Prior to 2011, you only had the game that was on your CBS. Now sometimes they would switch to a more competitive game, but if you were in the home market of a team, you had to watch that game from start to finish.

An example of this was in the 2008 NCAA Tournament where North Carolina beat Mount St. Mary’s, 113-74, in the First Round and the CBS affiliate in Baltimore, WJZ, had to stay with that game to its conclusion. With the current setup, if one game is a blowout, you can change it to another game that is more competitive. Prior to the 2011 Tournament, only beginning in the Elite 8 would you see every game.

Also another good thing is if you are watching a game that you have a major rooting interest in, and another game is close, they won’t go away from the game for long periods of time and you can still watch the game you are interested in. If you want to flip to that game, it’s as easy as changing the channel.

An example of this is last year when Lehigh as a 15 seed downed second seeded Duke. All you had to do was go to CBS from the game you were watching and you could see the upset Lehigh pulled off.

Beginning on Thursday and through the Sweet 16, if you do not like the game that is on, going to a game you like is just a click of the remote away. That is the beauty of the current television setup for the tournament and this deal has been a slam dunk.

On campus CBS are channels 9, 13, and 16; TNT is channel 35,;TBS is channel 36; and TruTV is channel 69.

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