Turner Sports cable station TBS will start televising the Final Four of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, showing the national semifinals in 2014 and 2015. In those two years, CBS will continue to carry the NCAA championship game.
Turner Sports cable station TBS will start televising the Final Four of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 2014 and 2015, advancing the schedule contemplated in its 14-year, $10.8 billion contract with CBS that went into effect three years ago.
In those two years, CBS will continue to carry the NCAA championship game.
CBS and TBS will also start splitting the Elite Eight games in 2014 rather than in 2016.
The changes result from an option in the companies’ contract that would have given TBS the Final Four weekend in 2014, with those three games moving back to CBS in 2015. But CBS and Turner executives decided to alter that formula.
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Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports, said, “When we started discussing this three months ago, we wanted a scenario that was best for CBS and Turner.”
McManus said neither side wanted to be shut out of Final Four weekend in 2014 or 2015, so they rewrote the language of the option to let TBS have the semifinal games both years and CBS carry the championship games.
“We came up with a compromise that protects CBS’s interests and Turner’s interests,” McManus said.
From 2016 to 2024, TBS will carry Final Four weekend in the even-numbered years and CBS in the odd-numbered years.
The Turner-CBS deal allowed all of the tournament’s games to be carried nationally, with broadcasts spread out on CBS and the Turner-owned TBS, TNT and truTV cable stations. Most of the games are on the Turner channels.