NCAA Tournament Gets Major TV Makeover

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — College basketball fans will see a whole lot more of the NCAA tournament on TV this March, including during prime time on the first Sunday night.

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CBS and Turner Sports, in the first year of a joint 14-year, $10.8 billion deal to broadcast the tournament announced Thursday that fans will get to see all games in their entirety thanks to staggered tip-off times and expanded coverage in the early rounds.

Games will be seen on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, allowing organizers to spread out start times in contrast to the regional coverage offered in years past.

CBS executive vice president Mike Aresco told USA Today the plan is to “create nonstop basketball from noon (EST) to midnight.”

“One reason to stagger them is to allow viewers to see more games,” he said.

The tournament is expanding from 65 to 68 teams this year.

How much of the tourney will you watch? Let us know in the comments below!

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

pixy NCAA Tournament Gets Major TV Makeover
  • Walt Gekko

    What really needs to be done is to re-structure the tourney a bit to where there are no 10:00 AM local starts and we have basketball running until as late as 2:00 AM ET or so. the first two days, then set it up so one regional semifinal on both Thursday and Friday (even if it means eventually moving the midwest regional to the mountain time zone and/or Arizona) is at 11:30 PM ET/8:30 PM PT, particularly on Friday when people can stay up later. While there would always be the risk of a school in the eastern time zone being stuck with an 11:30 PM ET start, I think most people who are NOT early risers would be too upset by such, even if it meant having to stay up until 2:00 AM ET or later for such games.

  • Susie Q

    It’s about time. ESPN used to carry ALL of the games – not saying they were all on at prime time, but at least you could watch your team if you wanted. Long overdue – hope it actually happens.

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