NCAA’s Tourney Expansion Could Force CBS Out Of The Picture

14 04 2010

After months of speculation, the NCAA is set to reveal its future.  On April 29, NCAA President Jim Isch will announce the organization’s decisions on expanding the tournament and opting out of its current media partnership with CBS.

The NCAA is looking for a victory like Davidson's Stephen Curry (Image via

It is likely the NCAA will ditch CBS for Turner Sports or ESPN.  As  Sports Business Journal points out, CBS is no longer the attractive media partnership it once was.

The NCAA has only three years left in its original 11-year, $6 billion contract with CBS.

But because of heavy escalators included in the agreement, the remaining years will cost the NCAA $2.13 billion, which is more than one-third of the contract’s total value.

Right now that price doesn’t seem worth it.  Despite the highest tournament ratings in years, CBS was unable to make a profit.

But the network could remain in the picture.  If the NCAA turns to Turner Sports, CBS will serve as a partner to the cable channel.   Under this scenario, the tournament will air on CBS and Turner on alternating years.

Though CBS’ experience makes the Turner option extremely attractive, ESPN’s unparalleled expansive digital and cable networks makes it a top contender.

This type of access will be necessary if the NCAA chooses to expand the tournament to 96 teams, which is likely to happen.  The organization derives nearly 100% of its income from the March Madness tournament each year, and expanding the number of participating teams from 65 to 96 is expected to boost this number.




2 responses

15 04 2010
NCAA's Tourney Expansion Could Force CBS Out Of The Picture « gold …

[…] View original post here: NCAA's Tourney Expansion Could Force CBS Out Of The Picture « gold … […]

15 04 2010
Tweets that mention NCAA’s Tourney Expansion Could Force CBS Out Of The Picture « gold and the game --

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lauren Hatch. Lauren Hatch said: Why the #NCAA 's impending tourney expansion could force CBS to lose its media rights: […]

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