The Madness Begins: CBS, Turner In Talks For Turner To Air Final Four As Soon As Next Year
CBS and Turner are negotiating to allow Turner to show the Final Four as soon as next year, as part of an option that is included in their NCAA Tournament deal. Plans have not been finalized, but several sources say that Turner is likely to have the Final Four in '14, which would place another premiere sports championship on cable. Under terms of the 14-year, $10.8B deal CBS and Turner signed in '10, Turner was set to begin televising the Final Four in '16. CBS and Turner released a statement to THE DAILY last night that said, "As part of the original 14-year deal, there was a provisional option for rotation of the Final Four and National Championship to begin in 2014. There is currently no time timetable for a decision." Sources said no money or other assets are changing hands as part of these negotiations. It is not known why the two networks are considering making the move (Ourand & Smith, Staff Writers).
BOOTH MOVES: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand noted the nets yesterday announced several personnel changes to their NCAA men's basketball tournament coverage. Doug Gottlieb will serve as a "studio analyst as well as game analyst with play-by-play announcer Spero Dedes," while Rachel Nichols and Allie LaForce will join the coverage as sideline reporters. Marv Albert and Steve Kerr will call the First Four games March 19 on truTV; announcers for the First Four games March 20 have yet to be determined. The CBS/Turner on-air crew otherwise "will return intact" (USATODAY.com, 3/11). AWFUL ANNOUNCING’s Matt Yoder wrote entering the third year of the CBS-Turner deal “it's clear the experiment has been a victory for basketball fans everywhere.” Yoder: “Not only do you get every game available to you in its entirety, but the depth in broadcast quality for March Madness eclipses any other sports property with Turner's NBA personalities combining with CBS's impressive stable of announcers.” With the NBA announcers “improving last year in their analysis of the college game," fans should "expect the strongest tournament yet from the broadcast side” (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 3/11).
|Jim Nantz||Clark Kellogg||Tracy Wolfson|
|Marv Albert||Steve Kerr||Craig Sager|
|Verne Lundquist||Bill Raftery||Rachel Nichols|
|Kevin Harlan||Reggie Miller & Len Elmore||Lewis Johnson|
|Ian Eagle||Jim Spanarkel||Allie LaForce|
|Brian Anderson||Dan Bonner||Marty Snider|
|Tim Brando||Mike Gminski||Otis Livingston|
|Spero Dedes||Doug Gottlieb||Jaime Maggio|