CBS' Madness Deal Could Be Up After 2010

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This isn't making that much news, but it's probably important to talk about given all of the deals ESPN has struck lately. The NCAA has the option of getting out of its 11-year deal with CBS, following the 2010 Tournament, and the "Leader" could be lurking in the shadows. CBS President, Sean McManus, thinks a move is unlikely though. Via the NY Times....

Sean McManus, the president of CBS News and CBS Sports, said that he had had informal talks with the N.C.A.A. about an extension. “We have a pretty good track record of renewing all our deals well before they expire,” he said by phone Monday.

CBS does not want to see the tournament leave. “It fits perfectly into our schedule, and it’s become one of the signature sports,” McManus said. “So I’d rather not anticipate life at CBS Sports without it.”

A CBS Sports without the tournament, he said, would mean less regular-season basketball. Why ladle out the soup if you can’t serve the entrees — and receive about $1 million for a 30-second ad in the championship game?

Greg Shaheen, the N.C.A.A. senior vice president for basketball and business strategies, praised the N.C.A.A.’s relationship with CBS and said that “our interests are how to best create a continuing long-term relationship that benefits our membership.” He said there was “not much to discuss” on the opt-out.
Sure it's a longshot, but that's what people were saying about the BCS a few years ago. These are crazy economic times, but ESPN is playing with Monopoly money and it wouldn't shock me if they put a little bit of pressure on CBS.

N.C.A.A. Can Opt Out of Deal With CBS After 2010 (NY Times)


Just let this one go, ESPN. CBS covers the Dance perfectly.

GMoney said...
Mar 17, 2009, 1:27:00 PM  

I can only imagine Dickie V. calling the national championship game. Tears would be falling off my face.

49er16 said...
Mar 17, 2009, 1:28:00 PM  

That's why I don't want to see ESPN get the NCAA toruny, becasue I can't stand Dick Vitale. He's a putz. And their is no way that CBS is going to let a cash cow like March Madness leave the network.

sportsfan25 said...
Mar 17, 2009, 1:44:00 PM  

I hope CBS keeps the NCAA Tournament for a very long time. I'd hate to watch the tournament with the likes of Vitale, Gottlieb and Jay Williams providing commentary.

Anonymous said...
Mar 17, 2009, 1:59:00 PM  

Agree with everyone. ESPN has enough entities, they don't need this. Plus CBS covers it so well. I can't see it happening, but you never know.

walnuts said...
Mar 17, 2009, 2:19:00 PM  

But the good thing with ESPN would be the additional channels would allow more games to be broadcast...wouldn't it?

CBS has always done a good job so I am not concerned either way.

GM said...
Mar 17, 2009, 2:22:00 PM  

You would think they'd be able to show more games GM, but I would think the Directv Mega March Madness deal would get in the way of that. The thing with the CBS deal, is with only one network showing games, there is a demand for the pay service for fans who would like to watch any game they chose.

Anonymous said...
Mar 17, 2009, 3:23:00 PM  

DirecTV's deal is in partnership with CBS, and also expires in 2010.

I'm normally against ESPN getting more programming... but, I'd prefer this. Every game on TV. And, in my opinion, better announcers (as long as Lord Gus is still involved).

I'm not the biggest fan of Vitale, but the NCAA Tournament is where his enthusiasm would really shine. And after sitting through Packer's old man grumbling every year, this wouldn't be nearly that bad.

Leelee Phoenix said...
Mar 17, 2009, 4:11:00 PM  

Please NCAA, stay on CBS- I've always loved it on CBS

Mark B said...
Mar 17, 2009, 4:35:00 PM  

I miss the good ol days when the tourney was on ESPN. They aired every first round game - every. game. - throughout the night on Thursday and Friday. It was back-to-back 24 hour marathons of pure first round joy. Sure, I knew who won, but I got to actually see the games.

I always hated that, when CBS got the games, you had two five-hour blocks of basketball for two days, and that was about it.

I know there's the satellite channels and all, but ESPN did a pretty good job what, 20 years ago?

Rob said...
Mar 17, 2009, 5:09:00 PM  

CBS and NBC are the only two channels that cover sports solidly even with old man Packer and the nitwits that do the Notre Dame games. ESPN waters down sports they do too often.

Also, I miss NBA finals on NBC, those were the days.

Anonymous said...
Mar 17, 2009, 6:45:00 PM  

NBC has a sports department?

I agree with Rob. You youngsters are too young to remember when ESPN had the tournament, but it was the best coverage of any sport by any network ever.

Now, with CBS, you have 4 games going on at once and there's nothing from 5-7:30 Eastern Time on Thursday and Friday. ESPN has wall-to-wall coverage and you can see every game.

Plus, you might get annoyed with Dick Vitale, but CBS wheels Jim Nantz out every March when he only covers one or two games a year. At least Vitale knows the game.

Anonymous said...
Mar 18, 2009, 9:04:00 AM  

Typical elitist bullshit being floated by a supporter of Big Government.

If ESPN steals the tournament from CBS the NCAA might require that all the games air on ABC. Local stations will not be pleased -- they won't want the ABC soaps, Oprah, "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune" to be pre-empted without a fight.

Anonymous said...
Mar 19, 2009, 9:39:00 PM  

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