Blog Entry

For First Time Ever, all of March Madness on tv

Posted on: February 10, 2011 12:42 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2011 12:55 pm
Posted by Matt Jones

For the first time in its history, all of the NCAA Tournament's games will be available live on either network or cable television, without viewers having to purchase a Pay-per-view package. As part of an announcement released on Wednesday by CBS and Turner, this year's NCAA Tournament will have all of its games on either CBS, TBS, TNT or TruTV, allowing fans to toggle back and forth between every game on a regular cable television package.

The new agreement will see the first four games of the tournament on TruTV on March 15th and 16th. Then, as the field gets to the normal stage of 64, the regular "first four days of the NCAA" will be all over each of the networks, with wall to wall basketball from noon to midnight on both Thursday, March 17th and Friday, March 18th. Every game of the first two days will be on either CBS, TBS, TNT or TruTv live and viewers will have the option to watch the game of their choice. The same will occur during the second round and the Sweet 16, when each of the games will be shown live on one of the four networks. In addition, there will be some extra time slots of games created as the West Coast afternoon game of the first two rounds (usually tipping off around 5 pm) will be available, as will a new Sunday night slot in the second round at 7:30 pm, a game that previously was never offered. 

As a college basketball fan, the news is extremely exciting. A person with a decent cable package can, for the first time, sit and watch each game at home live on his television set, without having to purchase a television pay per view package. In addition, the games will all have staggered start times, which will allow a viewer to catch the end of every game on the various channels. It is the case that for the first time in a long time, some of the Tournament's second weekend games will end up on cable as half the Sweet 16 games will be shown on TBS. However when the other choice is to have a game outside of your area not shown at all, this strikes me as a much preferable option.

Then of course, there is the Charles Barkley factor. As part of the new partnership with Turner, Barkley, Kenny Smith, Reggie Miller and others will be part of CBS and Turner coverage of the Tournament for the first time in its history. The influx of personalities will make the games much more marketable and the Barkley factor alone will drive ratings and interest. The NCAA Tournament has needed a personality to be its Lee Corso for some time and Barkley without question will give that level of excitement and likely much more.

The complete schedule can be seen at this link and will be of interest if you are a detail person. But if you are simply a college basketball fan, excited about the best sporting event of the year, it can be summed up this way. Every game from every region will be available for you to watch, for free. You can't beat that. 
Category: NCAAB

Since: Nov 24, 2009
Posted on: February 12, 2011 10:05 am

For First Time Ever, all of March Madness on tv


Yes, it does mean that there will be three more "play-in" games in addition to the "play-in" game that already exists (the NCAA is calling this first round, fittingly, the "First Four").  The last four seeded teams (seed #'s 65-68) will be pitted against each other in two of these games; and the other two controversial games (I say controversial because the next two games were based more on a theory of entertainment than on bracket equity) will pit the final four teams who received "at-large" bids, whatever seeds they maybe, against each other.

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2011 11:01 pm

For First Time Ever, all of March Madness on tv

Can someone answer a question?  From 65 teams to 68 teams for this year, does this mean just 3 more play-in games?


Since: Feb 11, 2011
Posted on: February 11, 2011 6:40 pm

For First Time Ever, all of March Madness on tv

Johnny Scott i really appreciated your input on this. You & Me must be about the same age.I also loved your Blog OLD SCHOOL BASKETBALL about Coach Sloan ,Ill be a reader of your blog johnnys tips from now on. Im like a kid at Christmas waiting for this years tournament. The Mountain West Conference teams are so Strong and with Jimmer not going into the NBA thank goodness its sure provided the nation with some talent candy.Looking forward to watching the games.

Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: February 11, 2011 3:12 pm

For First Time Ever, all of March Madness on tv

Question, are the games still going to be available on

Since: Nov 24, 2009
Posted on: February 11, 2011 1:19 pm

Concerns of a Non-Cable/Non-Dish Subscriber

I share the same concerns that some non-cable/non-dish subscribers have already articulated: will the respective regional games (games featuring the regional teams of their respective markets) still be broadcasted via CBS's off-air stations?  As elated as most are (e.g. current cable/dish subscribers), I can't help but feel concerned for all of us fans who are unwilling or who are unable to subscribe to the price-gouging ways of the cable and dish moguls.  Can someone at CBS please answer these concerns!!??

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2011 12:24 pm

For First Time Ever, all of March Madness on tv

Looks like I may have been wrong, based on this article:  
It's going to be tough for places like KC, where KU, MU and KSU could all be playing on the same day in 3 different locations.  Since they can't switch between games of the doubleheaders, then if for example, KU and KSU both play on Thursday afternoon, but in different locations, the CBS affiliate is going to have to pick which game it wants to broadcast.
This is not a wrinkle that I am excited about.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: February 11, 2011 12:00 pm

For First Time Ever, all of March Madness on tv

Alright. Can't wait top see all undeserving/#16 seed teams get their asses kicked in the first round of the tourney!

Does this mean I can watch the "play in game" as well?  You know, two more undeserving NCAA Tourney teams.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2011 11:50 am

For First Time Ever, all of March Madness on tv

You can even take it further, since I believe that and TNT.TV will also be simulcasting games online.  Essentially, with multiple computers or an awesome graphics card, you could potentially watch all 4 games at once without having to have multiple cable boxes.

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: February 11, 2011 11:42 am

For First Time Ever, all of March Madness on tv

Cool.  Now we can totally witness the drama and excitement ALL four  #1 vs #16 match-ups!!!

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2011 11:41 am

For First Time Ever, all of March Madness on tv

I can't find information about it to ensure this is the case, but I would assume that CBS and Turner are sharing feeds, so that local teams can be on the CBS affiliate, and other games can be shuffled around in a particular area to allow LOCAL teams to be seen.  That doesn't do anything for fans not living in the markets for their local teams, but since ESPN already does this with ABC/ESPN networks, it's possible to do the same for the tourney.
I'd be really disappointed if they couldn't get that figured out someway.

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