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CBS-Turner bid possible for NCAA tourney


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#1 OFFLINE   DCSholtis

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 12:58 PM

http://www.sportsbus...m/article/64712

CBS and Turner Sports are in discussions to create a joint bid for the NCAA tournament rights if the NCAA decides to opt out of its current CBS deal.

The broadcaster and cable network could share rights to the tournament if the NCAA decides to expand the field to 96 teams. In that scenario, the channel broadcasting the Final Four would pay 60 percent of the annual rights fee and the other network would pay 40 percent. The broadcast partners would alternate coverage of the Final Four each year.

Other networks, including ESPN and Fox, also are considering making bids for the tournament’s rights.

The broadcasters are basing their bids on an expanded tournament field, according to a request for proposal issued by the NCAA to potential bidders late last year. A copy of the RFP was obtained by SportsBusiness Journal.

The NCAA has its sights set on expanding from a 65-team tournament to either 68 or 96 teams if it opts out of the CBS contract, according to the 12-page RFP.

A 68-team field would add three “play-in” games to the current 65-team format, and a 96-team field would expand the tournament’s inventory by 31 games.

The NCAA also says it is looking for a 14-year term on its next media deal, with a “no-penalty, early termination right in favor of the NCAA,” according to the RFP.

The NCAA is considering whether to opt out of its 11-year, $6 billion contract with CBS after the Final Four in April. The deal has three years and $2.131 billion remaining.


Wonder what this would mean if anything for D*s Mega March Madness package.
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#2 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 01:54 PM

Hmmm. Putting the Final Four on a cable channel. The NCAA does that and they will be following the NHL's history. Not a good history to follow.
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#3 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:04 PM

While I can't comment on what I think about the CBS/Turner aspect of this.

I will comment on the other piece: 96 teams?!!!?!?!?!?!

Who are they kidding. If they keep it in 4 regions, you are going to have #1 play #24 ?
Seriously. The chances right now are already through the roof of having a #16 beat a #1 in the first round. Those team that make it in the #24 slot, would have a better chance in the NIT to make some quality "noise".

So let's add another weekend to the tournament. What about the kids and their studying and travel, and everything else. (Now I post that with tounge in Cheek, since that is the #1 excuse reason they throw out for the lack of a playoff in football)

On a gambling note.... what are the current odds for picking a perfect bracket?
Could you imagine what the odds would go to if they expand to 96 teams?
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#4 OFFLINE   DCSholtis

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:17 PM

If they expand to 96 teams you might as well call it April Madness....
Dan Sholtis
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#5 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 09:35 PM

I don't support/endorse an expansion to 96... but I believe speculation has been that IF they did that, the top seeds would get byes the first round. I suspect it might be something like having 64 teams play that first two-days, and then the remaining 32 from that would be paired up with the top 32 teams the following 2-days for the traditional 64-team tourney from that point forward.

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#6 OFFLINE   Geronimo

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 09:40 PM

With 66 teams you would have t give several seeds a bye or have some sort of round robin at some point. the math just won't work otherwise.
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#7 OFFLINE   Lee L

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 11:53 AM

WEll, the 1st and 2nd rounds used to be on ESPN, so the precedent is there for the early rounds on cable. Now, this was before it got so big. However, CBS may end up wishing they did not open the whole can of works if ESPN gets it all.

I think that 64 or 5 teams is about right. I heard on the Dan Patrick show this AM, maybe one day if a 16 ever beats a 1, then maybe you can open it up, but even that is a one in a million thing IMO.


DirecTV, please don't make me have to go back to watching March Madness in standard Def! Oh, and the usual begging for AMC and BBC America. You are so close to actually being the HD Leader.

#8 OFFLINE   fluffybear

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 03:54 PM

With 66 teams you would have t give several seeds a bye or have some sort of round robin at some point. the math just won't work otherwise.


you would do just as you are doing today with 65. 65 plays 64 in a game for the right to be in the tournament. If they went to 66, 66 would end up playing 63 with the winner going to tournament.

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#9 OFFLINE   lwilli201

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 03:41 PM

A 96 team format would destroy the NIT. The NIT many not be the NCAA Tour, but at least one of those 32 will go home with a trophy. This will just double the amount of cannon fodder to the tournament. If anything, I believe they could reduce the number to 32/33. IMHO
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#10 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 04:15 PM

Since the NCAA now owns the NIT, I suspect they don't really care if they eliminate it... this could be one way by which they accomplish that.

Theoretically... I'd be open to considering the NIT as a play-in tournament for those bubble teams. Let the NIT play out before the NCAA starts... and take the "final four" from the NIT and seed them as the last 4 teams in the field of 64 for the NCAA.

But I wouldn't want an outright field of 96 in the NCAA... there would be a lot of needless games that most folk wouldn't have an interest in... and the NIT would get a very watered down field after that.

Meanwhile... I'd also be ok with shrinking the field, but I doubt that will happen.

I am curious how many conferences there are in division I these days. Anyone know? (edit: I think I found a list that shows 31 conferences... Does that sound right?)

One idea I had... For conferences that have tourneys keep that automatic bid as we have today. BUT, also take the regular-season winner from each conference if it is a different team than the one who won their tourney. That way you reward full-season excellence with a big AND you reward elimination-play and allow some wild cards through tourneys.

I'm curious how many conferences there are, to see how many teams that would mean by my suggestion. IF that resulted in more than 64 teams, I'd be ok with expansion to make that happen.

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#11 OFFLINE   cousinofjah

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 05:03 PM

Since the NCAA now owns the NIT, I suspect they don't really care if they eliminate it... this could be one way by which they accomplish that.

Theoretically... I'd be open to considering the NIT as a play-in tournament for those bubble teams. Let the NIT play out before the NCAA starts... and take the "final four" from the NIT and seed them as the last 4 teams in the field of 64 for the NCAA.


I think that's why the NCAA bought the NIT - to eliminate it. Using the NIT as a play-in tournament would push March Madness into April and IMO dilute the product even further - the regular season and (to a lesser extent) the conference title games.

I know this is inevitable because money is there to be had, but I think this is fast becoming a case where less is more. 64 was a good number. The play-in game is just horrible and adding 3 more would effectively segregate the smaller conferences from the real tournament in an almost BCS fashion. I think it's making the tournament less and less special.

#12 OFFLINE   SamC

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 06:21 PM

I have not seen any poster on any board I frequent that wants an expanded tournament. Its just a bad idea.

The 68 version, BTW, would add in 4 play in games. The champions of the bottom 8 conferences would meet, probably in a day-night doubleheader in Dayton, for the "honor" of being the #16 seeds in the four regions. Leagues like the MEAC, SWAC, Big South, Southland, etc. This will probably just lead to more "bracket creep" as more and more schools that belong in Div II or the NAIA, declare themselves Div I.

The 96 version would give the top 8 teams in each region a bye. The teams seeded 9 - 24 in each region would play to reduce the teams to 64.




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