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: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2011 1:15 pm

For First Time Ever, all of March Madness on tv

I wonder if Directv is going to screw us by blacking out those games and strongarm us into buying the pay-per-view?

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2011 1:14 pm

For First Time Ever, all of March Madness on tv

This is great news!

Since: Oct 1, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2011 1:08 pm

For First Time Ever, all of March Madness on tv

For people who care most about seeing their team and don't buy cable, will CBS be running the regional game by default? Also, these articles don't address streaming at all. Last year CBS streamed every game in the tournament online.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or