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NCAA men's basketball Final Four to be split between CBS, TBS

May 07, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • Louisville's NCAA championship in 2013 was broadcast on CBS, but some in the future will be shown on TBS.
Louisville's NCAA championship in 2013 was broadcast on CBS, but… (Andy Lyons / Getty Images )

For more than two decades, college basketball fans have known to tune in to CBS for the men's Final Four games.

Well, folks, get ready to have your world turned upside down. Or at least part of your world, part of the time as CBS and TBS begin to start sharing the Final Four.

CBS and Turner Sports have a 14-year deal with the NCAA for the broadcast rights of the men's tournament. For the first three years of that contract, every game of the first three rounds was shown on either CBS or one of three Turner channels -- TBS, TNT and truTV -- and everything from the Elite Eight on has been shown on CBS.

That arrangement seems to have worked out well, with this year's tournament drawing the event's highest ratings in 19 years. But now things are going to get a little more complicated, according to an announcement Tuesday by the networks.

Over the next two years, the first two games of the Final Four -- the national semifinals -- will air on TBS, with the championship game remaining on CBS. After that, the two channels will alternate showing the entire Final Four, starting with TBS in 2016.

This could cause some confusion, but I'm guessing we can handle it. After all, the Super Bowl switches networks every year and we all manage to find it. Plus, we've all done a great job finding all those early-round NCAA games the last few years, even with having to remind ourselves every 12 months that something called truTV even exists.

But there's one other issue to address. Not to strike fear in your hearts or cause panic in the streets, but I've got to ask: Does this mean "One Shining Moment" will only be broadcast every other year?

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