March Madness Basketball Could End Up on Turner in Addition to CBS

Feb 2, 2010  •  Post A Comment

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is thinking of expanding the annual March Madness NCAA basketball playoffs from 65 teams to 96 teams, and if they do that Turner Sports would likely make a joint bid with the incumbent TV rights holder, CBS, for the expanded tournament, Sports Business Journal reports.

Fox and ESPN are also considering bidding for the expanded tournament, if the NCAA moves that route, the article says.

A CBS/Turner bid would mean, according to the article, that "the broadcaster and cable network could share rights to the tournament if the NCAA decides to expand the field to 96 teams. In that scenario, the channel broadcasting the Final Four would pay 60 percent of the annual rights fee and the other network would pay 40 percent. The broadcast partners would alternate coverage of the Final Four each year."

The new bids would be solicited if the NCAA opts out of its current deal with CBS, the article said.

–Chuck Ross

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