NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Little Changes for Fans to Watch NCAA Tourney Online

CBS and Turner Sports have unveiled its plans for its March Madness Live platform for viewers to catch this year’s tournament online.

Like last year, viewers will have to authenticate that they are subscribers to the Turner Sports channels to watch those games online. All games on CBS will be streamed to all viewers online without authentication.  Unlike last year when viewers could pay $3.99 to watch the games online who could not authenticate, there is no fee this year.  Instead fans who do not authenticate will be able to preview games for a four hour period.

Apps for Android and IOS devices will be made available in early March

From CBS and Turner PR, here are some of the improvements to this year’s product:

  • Redesigned for optimization across platforms – With improved navigation, NCAA March Madness Live® will have a completely new look and feel while also providing users with the same levels of access and a consistent user experience across all devices
  • Available on new devices – NCAA March Madness Live® will be available on more devices than ever before including smart phones and tablets with the Android 4.0+ operating system, the iPhone 5 and iPad mini
  • Capital One NCAA March Madness Bracket Challenge – The official bracket game of March Madness includes new designs and feature enhancements on smart phones and tablets, along with expanded social functionality across all devices allowing fans to join groups, share brackets and chat with friends and other passionate fans via Facebook
  • Coke Zero NCAA March Madness Social Arena – A forum to extend the conversation surrounding all of the games within NCAA March Madness Live® products, fans can follow game and tournament tweets, participate in fan chats, watch the games and keep a pulse on all the key moments of every game via the Coke Zero NCAA March Madness Social Arena.  Fans can participate in the social commentary by using the hashtag #marchmadness

Sports Media Digest- April 3, 2012

CBS Sees Ratings Jump For NCAA Championship Game-  CBS reports that the ratings for yesterday’s NCAA Men’s Division I Championship between Kentucky and Kansas came in nationally at 12.3, up 5% over last year’s final between UConn and Butler.  The game averaged 20.9 million viewers, up 4% from 2011.  Over the entire tournament TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV averaged a 6.1 rating down from last year’s 6.4 mark.  This year’s tournament averaged 9.6 million viewers compared to 10.2 million last year.

Plurality of Brackets on ESPN Selected Kentucky-  It is no surprise that with the number 1 team in the country winning the championship, a good number of brackets completed in ESPN’s Bracket Challenge had Kentucky on top.  Just over 35% of the 6.45 million brackets completed selected Kentucky to win it all.  Only 6.2% had Kansas as the winner.

Kellerman Hosts Face-Off With Mayweather and Cotto on HBO Tonight-  In preparation for the May 5th bout between Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto, Max Kellerman will host Face Off With Max Kellerman: Mayweather/Cotto tonight at 8:45p.m. ET on HBO.  During the interview the two fighters face-off and answer Kellerman’s questions.  The fighters also get the chance to address each other and their fans.

TNT NBA Double Header Thursday-  TNT will again prep itself for an NBA twin bill this Thursday.  Game one at 7:00p.m. ET will pit the New York Knicks at the Orlando Magic.  Marv Albert, Mike Fratello, and David Aldridge will have the call.  The nightcap at 9:30p.m. has the Boston Celtics at the Chicago Bulls.  Kevin Harlan, Steve Kerr, and Reggie Miller will be on hand.

CBS Sports.com Launches Fantasy Baseball Show-  Beginning tomorrow, CBS Sports.com will be producing regular programs for fanatasy baseball players.   Fantasy Baseball 360 will be available daily from 5:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. ET.   Jorge Sedano will host the show and be joined by fantasy baseball experts Nando Di Fino, Al Melchior and Scott White along with CBSSports.com’s MLB Insider Jon Heyman and Baseball Columnists Scott Miller  and Danny Knobler.

Entz Named Executive VP at Fox Sports-  Fox Sports has announced that it has promoted John Entz to the position ofExecutive Vice President, Production and Executive Producer, FOX Sports Media Group.  Entz will oversee all studio and event production for the networks and entities within Fox Sports Media Group, including FOX Sports, the FOX Sports Regional Networks, SPEED, FOX Deportes, FOX Soccer, FUEL TV and FOXSports.com.  Entz also serves in an advisory capacity to the Big Ten Network.

Final Four Ratings Slightly Above 2011 Levels

CBS reports that last night’s overnight ratings for the NCAA Men’s Division I Final Four came in at 9.0.  That number is 1% over last year and the highest Final Four rating since 2005.

Game one between Louisville and Kentucky earned a 8.4 rating, also up 1% from 2011.  The Kansas/Ohio State second game registered a rating of 9.6, up 1% from a year ago.

Coverage of the NCAA Men’s Final Four on CBS

CBS Sports is the home for this weekend’s NCAA Men’s Division I Final Four from New Orleans.  The national semifianls tips-off at 6:09p.m. ET with Louisville and Kentucky playing in game one.  Forty minutes after the opener game two between Ohio State and Kansas will take the floor.

Jim Nantz will be joined by Clark Kellogg and Steve Kerr for the call of the action.  Tracy Wolfson will be the sideline reporter.

A special two-hour pre-game show will begin at 4:00p.m. ET hosted by Greg Gumbel.  He’ll be joined by Greg Anthony, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Seth Davis.   Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo, Butler Head Coach Brad Stevens and Marquette Head Coach Buzz Williams also will be on set to provide analysis.

On Sunday at 3:30p.m. ET, Seth Davis hosts MERCEDES-BENZ PRESENTS: KINGS OF THE COURT, which looks at some of the top college basketball coaches in America including Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Kansas’s Bill Self. The one-hour special examines the blueprint to success through exclusive interviews and footage of these leaders and their respective programs.

On championship Monday, Gumbel, Anthony, Barkley, Smith and Davis precedes Monday evening’s National Championship game with a pre-game show at 9:00p.m. ET.

CBS Sports Network To Offer Supplemental Final Four Programming

CBS Sports Network will be providing comlimentary programming to coincide with CBS’ coverage of the NCAA Men’s Division I Final Four.

Coverage begins tomorrow from New Orleans with special editions of the Tim Brando Show starting at 10:00a.m. ET.  The network will also have special editions of Bracket Breakdown previewing the national semifinals and finals.

Here is the CBS Sports Network special coverage of the Final Four:

2012 FINAL FOUR PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE
*All Times ET

Thursday, March 29
10:00 AM-1:00 PM – TIM BRANDO SHOW

Friday, March 30
10:00 AM-1:00 PM – TIM BRANDO SHOW
4:00-7:00 PM – BRACKET BREAKDOWN

Saturday, March 31
1:00-3:00 PM – BRACKET BREAKDOWN
8:30-9:00 PM – FULL COURT PRESS PRESENTED BY BUICK
11:00-11:30 PM – BRACKET BREAKDOWN
11:30 PM-12:30 AM – BRACKET BREAKDOWN

Sunday, April 1
4:00-6:00 PM – BRACKET BREAKDOWN
9:00-9:30 PM – COURT OF CHAMPIONS DELIVERED BY UPS

Monday, April 2
6:00-8:00 PM – BRACKET BREAKDOWN
11:30 PM-12:00 MIDNIGHT – BRACKET BREAKDOWN
12:00 MIDNIGHT-1:00 AM – BRACKET BREAKDOWN

CBS Sets Tip Times for Final Four

CBS Sports has released the tip-off times for next week’s NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four in New Orleans.

Game one will feature Louisville and Kentucky beginning at 6:09.p.m. ET Saturday.  Kansas and Ohio State will tip-off approximately 40 minutes following the first game.

Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg and Steve Kerr call the games along with Tracy Wolfson serving as reporter.

The CBS pre-game show, The Road to the Final Four, hosted by Greg Gumbel with analysts Charles Barkley, Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith and Seth Davis, begins at 4:00p.m. ET.

CBS Schedule for NCAA Men’s Elite Eight

Here is the schedule on CBS for the Elite Eight match-ups for the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship:

SATURDAY, MARCH 24th

PHOENIX, AZ
4:30p.m. Louisville vs. Florida (Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore, Reggie Miller, Marty Snider) CBS

BOSTON, MA
7:05p.m. Ohio State vs. Syracuse (Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery, Lesley Visser) CBS

SUNDAY, MARCH 25th

ATLANTA, GA
2:20p.m. Baylor vs. Kentucky  (Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, Tracy Wolfson) CBS

ST. LOUIS, MO
5:05p.m. North Carolina vs. Kansas  (Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Craig Sager) CBS