SBD/Issue 149/Sports Media

ESPN Not Increasing NCAA Tourney Bid, Paving Way For CBS-Turner

CBS-Turner Partnership For NCAA Tournament
Could Bring In More Than Current Rights Deal
ESPN has told the NCAA that it will not increase its bid to obtain the NCAA men's basketball tournament rights, clearing the way for CBS and Turner to share the rights starting next year, according to sources with direct knowledge of the talks. Sources said that CBS and Turner have a 14-year deal on the table that is worth more than the $710M annual fee that CBS would have to pay over the last three years of the existing deal. No deal has been formalized, though, and the NCAA still hopes to reengage ESPN in some way. In an e-mail, NCAA Senior VP/Basketball & Business Strategies Greg Shaheen wrote, "There is no agreement with any party. In fact, discussions/negotiations are ongoing with multiple parties. No final decisions have been made and as such, no agreements have been made." The decision is expected to be presented at the NCAA's executive committee meeting April 29. If Turner joins CBS as a partner, it almost certainly means that the tournament would be expanded to 96 teams, sources said. The most likely scenario would have CBS and Turner telecasting each game nationally across at least four networks: CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. Under this scenario, Turner and CBS would carry the Final Four in alternate years.

Return to top

Related Topics:

Media

Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug