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 Launches Fantasy Baseball Show-  Beginning tomorrow, CBS 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’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  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:

*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

Saturday, March 31

Sunday, April 1

Monday, April 2

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:


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

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


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

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


Sunday’s Third Round NCAA Tourney Schedule on CBS/Turner Sports

Here is the schedule for third round action Sunday for the NCAA Division I Men’s College Basketball Championship on CBS and Turner Sports  (all times ET):

12:15p.m. Georgetown vs. N.C. St.  (Tim Brando, Mike Gminski, Otis Livingston) CBS
After game 1 Michigan State vs. Saint Louis  (Tim Brando, Mike Gminski, Otis Livingston) CBS

5:15p.m. Creighton vs. North Carolina  (Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, Tracy Wolfson) CBS
7:40p.m.  Lehigh vs. Xavier  (Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, Tracy Wolfson) truTV

6:10p.m. Florida vs. Norfolk St.  (Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Craig Sager) TNT
After game 1 Kansas Purdue (Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Craig Sager) TNT

7:10p.m. South Florida vs. Ohio  (Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Lewis Johnson) TBS
After game 1 Florida St. vs. Cincinnati (Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Lewis Johnson) TBS

Sports Media Digest- March 16, 2012

Solid Ratings for First Day of NCAA Tourney-  CBS and Turner Sports report that the ratings for the first day of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship was a combined 5.3, 6% higher than 2011.  The combined audience was 7.7 million viewers, up 4% from a year ago.  Yesterday’s action was the most-viewed Thursday of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship since 1991, when the tournament expanded to four telecast windows.

ESPN has Sunday Night NBA Double Header-  ESPN will provide NBA fans with a double header this Sunday Night.  It all kicks-off at 7:00p.m. ET as the Miami Heat host the Orlando Magic.  Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy have the call.  The nightcap at 9:30p.m. will feature the Portland Trailblazers at the Oklahoma City Thunder with Terry Gannon and Bruce Bowen at the mic.

TNT Has its Own NBA Tin Bill on Monday-  TNT will provide a Monday night NBA double header on March 19th.  The opener gets underway at 8:00p.m. with the Chicago Bulls at the Orlando Magic. Matt Devlin will have the call with Chris Webber and David Aldridge. The finale will feature the Dallas Mavericks at Denver Nuggets at 10:30p.m. ET with Dick Stockton, Mike Fratello and Cheryl Miller (reporter).

Suns/Heat Next Weeks’ NBA TV Fan Night Game-  Fans have selected the Phoenix Suns at the Miami Heat as this Tuesday’s NBA TV Fan Night game of the week.  Tip-off is at 7:30p.m.  Here are the match-ups fans can vote on to air on March 27th: the Cleveland Cavaliers @ Philadelphia 76ers, the Minnesota Timberwolves @ Memphis Grizzlies, the Atlanta Hawks @ Milwaukee Bucks, the San Antonio Spurs @ Phoenix Suns, or the Los Angles Lakers @ Golden State Warriors.

Terry Francona Makes ESPN Game Coverage Debut Monday-  Coming-up this Monday, the new ESPN Sunday Night Baseball crew will call its first game.  Dan Shulman will be joined by Orel Hershiser and newcomer Terry Francona for pre-season coverage of the Tigers at the Phillies beginning at 1:00p.m. ET on ESPN.

Real Sports Returns Tuesday to HBO-  HBO Sports will produce its next Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel this Tuesday, March 20th at 10:00p.m. ET.  Here are this month’s segments: A profile of New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundquist; behind the scenes with the high-wire Wallenda Family; the story of the Seattle Mariners’ Steve Delabar; and a look at the 2001 and 2011 tragedies at Oklahoma State University.

Gymnastics This Weekend on NBC-  NBC Sports will have coverage this weekend of the Kellogg’s Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships.  Coverage begins Saturday, March 18, at 1:00p.m. ET on NBC.

Saturday’s Third Round NCAA Tourney Times On CBS/Turner

Now that the first full day of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament is complete,  CBS Sports and Turner Sports have unveiled the scheudle for the third round games to be played this Saturday.

Here is the schedule:

12:15p.m. Kansas St. vs. Syracuse (Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore, Reggie Miller, Marty Snider) CBS
After game 1 Gonzaga vs. Ohio State (Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore, Reggie Miller, Marty Snider) CBS

5:15p.m. Murray St. vs. Marquette (Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery, Lesley Visser) CBS
After game 1 Kentucky vs. Iowa State (Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery, Lesley Visser) CBS

6:10p.m. Wisconsin vs. Vanderbilt  (Spero Dedes, Bob Wenzel, Jamie Maggio) TNT
After game 1 Baylor vs. Colorado (Spero Dedes, Bob Wenzel, Jamie Maggio) TNT

7:10p.m. Indiana vs. VCU (Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner, Jenn Hildreth) TBS
After game 1 New Mexico vs. Louisville.  (Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner, Jenn Hildreth) TBS