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Tag Archives: March Madness

Sweet Sixteen Broadcast and Cable TV Schedule

The first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is in the books, with many favorites and a few underdogs having made their way to the Sweet 16. From this point on, games will be airing on broadcast TV on CBS and cable TV on TBS. Here is the schedule for this weekend’s games, via NCAA.com:

Regional Semifinals (Sweet 16) Thursday, March 23

Games (Sweet 16) Date Game Site Time (ET) Network
(3) Oregon vs. (7) Michigan March 23 Kansas City 7:09 p.m. CBS
(1) Gonzaga vs. (4) West Virginia March 23 San Jose 7:39 p.m. TBS
(1) Kansas vs. (4) Purdue March 23 Kansas City 9:39 p.m. CBS
(2) Arizona vs. (11) Xavier March 23 San Jose 10:09 p.m. TBS

Regional Semifinals (Sweet 16) Friday, March 24

Games (Sweet 16) Date Game Site Time (ET) Network
(1) North Carolina vs. (4) Butler March 24 Memphis 7:09 p.m. CBS
(3) Baylor vs. (7) South Carolina March 24 New York 7:29 p.m. TBS
(2) Kentucky vs. (3) UCLA March 24 Memphis 9:30 p.m. CBS
(4) Florida vs. (8) Wisconsin March 24 New York 10:09 p.m. TBS

Regional Finals (Elite 8) Saturday, March 25

Games (Elite 8) Date Game Site Time (ET) Network
TBA vs. TBA March 25 TBA 6:00 p.m. TBS
TBA vs. TBA March 25 TBA 8:30 p.m. TBS

Regional Finals (Elite 8) Sunday, March 26

Games (Elite 8) Date Game Site Time (ET) Network
TBA vs. TBA March 26 TBA 2:00 p.m. CBS
TBA vs. TBA March 26 TBA 4:55 p.m. CBS

Enjoy the games.

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March Madness TV Ratings Down from 2015

For the first time this year, the men’s NCAA basketball national championship game aired on cable TV, rather than on network TV. The main broadcast of the game, which was one of the best in recent memory, going down to the wire as Villanova beat North Carolina on a last-second three-pointer, was on TBS, with team-specific broadcasts airing on TNT and TruTV, drawing an average of 17.8 million viewers, down 37 percent from 2015’s final game, for the fourth lowest-rated game in the tournament’s history on television.

More from the International Business Times:

A little perspective, though: Everyone in the TV industry anticipated some sort of drop — not only would the game not be airing on a broadcast network, which has far more intrinsic reach, but the ratings for 2015’s title game shattered records and was up 33 percent over 2014’s final. So while a 37 percent dip is by no means a good thing, 2016 is off 2014’s numbers by only about 16 percent.

That’s also a lot of eyeballs for Turner, which is attempting to get away from the public perception of TNT as the ampersand network (home of shows like “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Franklin & Bash” and “King & Maxwell”) and TBS as merely the home of “The Big Bang Theory” repeats. Consequently, the cable conglomerate devoted several minutes of precious ad inventory — mostly during the halftime show — to introducing audiences to the slick new TNT and TBS brands.

Rather, the trouble might come once total viewership for the tournament is tallied. Turner and CBS, which jointly produce and air the entirety of March Madness, could be facing a 25 percent difference between the ratings they promised advertisers and the ratings they actually delivered, according to media buying sources.

Next year, the game will be back on CBS. We’ll see if the eyeballs return, and if the decision to alternate having the game on CBS or TBS depending upon the year is a bad one.

March Madness Schedule on Network and Cable TV

It’s that time of the year—the conference tournaments that begin March Madness have been completed, the selection show has aired, and the brackets are out in time for the beginning of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Get ready for the first week/weekend of games and set your DVRs. Here is the cable TV and network TV schedule for all of the games airing this week, via SportsMediaWatch:

FIRST FOUR
Tuesday, March 15
6:30 PM FGCU/Farleigh Dickinson TruTV
9:00 PM Vanderbilt/Wichita State TruTV
Wednesday, March 16
6:30 PM Holy Cross/Southern TruTV
9:00 PM Michigan/Tulsa TruTV
FIRST ROUND
Thursday, March 17
(Raleigh, Providence, Des Moines and Denver)
12:15 PM Duke/UNC-Wilmington CBS
12:40 PM Texas Tech/Butler TruTV
1:30 PM Colorado/UConn TNT
2:00 PM Iowa State/Iona TBS
2:30 PM Baylor/Yale CBS
3:00 PM Virginia/Hampton TruTV
3:50 PM Kansas/Austin Peay TNT
4:20 PM Purdue/Ark.-Little Rock TBS
6:50 PM Miami/Buffalo TNT
7:10 PM Indiana/Chattanooga CBS
7:20 PM North Carolina/TBA TBS
7:27 PM Utah/Fresno State TruTV
9:15 PM Arizona/TBA TNT
9:30 PM Kentucky/Stony Brook CBS
9:45 PM USC/Providence TBS
9:55 PM Seton Hall/Gonzaga TruTV
Friday, March 18
(Brooklyn, St. Louis, Spokane and OKC)
12:15 PM Dayton/Syracuse CBS
12:40 PM Villanova/UNC-Asheville TruTV
1:30 PM Oregon State/VCU TNT
2:00 PM Cal/Hawaii TBS
2:30 PM Michigan State/Mid. Tenn. St. CBS
3:00 PM Iowa/Temple TruTV
3:50 PM Oklahoma/CSU-Bakersfield TNT
4:20 PM Maryland/SDSU TBS
6:50 PM Wisconsin/Pittsburgh TNT
7:10 PM W. Virginia/Stephen F. Austin CBS
7:20 PM Texas A&M/Green Bay TBS
7:27 PM Oregon/TBA TruTV
9:15 PM Xavier/Weber State TNT
9:30 PM Notre Dame/TBA CBS
9:45 PM Texas/Northern Iowa TBS
9:55 PM St. Joe’s/Cincinnati TruTV
SECOND ROUND
Saturday, March 19
(Raleigh, Providence, Des Moines and Denver)
12:00 PM Second round CBS
2:30 PM Second round CBS
5:00 PM Second round CBS
6:00 PM Second round TNT
7:00 PM Second round TBS
7:30 PM Second round CBS
8:30 PM Second round TNT
9:30 PM Second round TBS
Sunday, March 20
(Brooklyn, St. Louis, Spokane and OKC)
12:00 PM Second round CBS
2:30 PM Second round CBS
5:00 PM Second round CBS
6:00 PM Second round TNT
7:00 PM Second round TBS
7:30 PM Second round TruTV
8:30 PM Second round TNT
9:30 PM Second round TBS

Enjoy the games.

Sweet Sixteen Schedule Set for Cable TV

With the first two rounds of action complete in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, March Madness is moving closer and closer to its end. The Sweet 16 begins today, and here you’ll be able to find where to watch all the action on cable TV.

Here are the times and channels (all Eastern Time), via TV Media Insights:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

7:15 p.m. on CBS: Midwest Region
(#3) Notre Dame vs. (#7) Wichita State
7:47 p.m. on TBS: West Region
(#1) Wisconsin vs. (#4) North Carolina
Approx. 9:45 p.m. on CBS: Midwest Region
(#1) Kentucky vs. (#5) West Virginia
Approx. 10:17 p.m. on TBS: West Region
(#2) Arizona vs. (#6) Xavier
Friday, March 27, 2015

7:15 p.m. on CBS: South Region
(#2) Gonzaga vs. (#11) UCLA
7:37 p.m. on TBS: East Region
(#4) Louisville vs. (#8) N.C. State
Approx. 9:45 p.m. on CBS: South Region
(#1) Duke vs. (#5) Utah
Approx. 10:07 p.m. on TBS: East Region
(#3) Oklahoma vs. (#7) Michigan State

A few upsets have led lower seeds to the Sweet 16 and busted many brackets. Now is when we’ll see if sleeper teams like Wichita State (who upset the Kansas Jayhawks) and NC State, who upset #1 seed Villanova, can continue their run in the big dance.

For those who want to watch basketball at its best, though, the game to tune in to is the late game on CBS on Thursday, where the Kentucky Wildcats will attempt to continue their run to perfection and setting the record for most wins in a college season. West Virginia will prove a worthy challenger.

Stay tuned to the TV, Internet and Phone Blog for the Final Four matchup next week.

March Madness: Find it On Cable TV

The time has come: the Round of 64 is here (enough with that First Four nonsense—those are play-in games) and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament really begins. Make sure your brackets are filled out before the first game starts, and sit back for a long weekend of basketball, maybe the best weekend in sports all year long.

It’s been a long time since a team has come in as favored to win the tournament as the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats, who are seeking to win the title as an undefeated team for the first time since Bobby Knight did so with his Indiana Hoosiers more than thirty years ago. But anything can happen when it’s winner take all in every particular game, and you’ll want to be there to see all the blowouts, upsets, and highlights.

CBS Sports has the rights to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, so you can find all of your March Madness viewing on CBS-owned cable and network television. Check out the schedule, and make sure to find where all those channels are on your cable television package. This year, games will air on:

  • CBS
  • TBS
  • TNT
  • truTV

You may ask yourself: “Really, truTV?” Yes, the channel with all the courtroom shows and true crime documentaries that form the basis for CSI episodes is hosting NCAA tournament basketball once again, as part of the CBS/Turner Sports team-up. Look up where it is available from your provider, and be sure to find the HD feed: you’ll hope you have found a cable provider with the most HD channels in your area.

Games begin today at 12:15 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Get ready.

Final Four Could be on Cable TV as soon as 2014

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Daily, coverage of the Final Four, college basketball’s crowning broadcast, could appear on cable television as soon as 2014. CBS and Turner Broadcasting, who co-own rights to the NCAA tournament, are negotiating to put the premier sports championship on cable.

It is likely that this will occur, putting the Final Four on TBS for the first time. TBS is available on most basic cable tiers, and airs on channel 247 on DIRECTV. This will be the first time since 1982 that the semifinals and finals of the NCAA basketball championship will not air on CBS, though preliminary games over the first weekends will still air on the network.

Commentary from leading sports media blog Awful Announcing:

What about the “Turner Years” for the Final Four? While the CBS/Turner partnership has been wonderful over the past couple of years, don’t expect to see “CBS on TBS” when the event goes to cable either next year or in 2016. Turner Sports wants to put its stamp on college basketball’s final weekend. One would think that Ernie Johnson would host the Final Four instead of Greg Gumbel. Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith would be locks to remain as studio analysts with Greg Anthony (who’s also a Turner employee on NBA TV). Marv Albert would most likely call the games before eventually transitioning to Kevin Harlan in the latter half of this decade. And Steve Kerr and Clark Kellogg would stay as courtside analysts. Yes, Craig Sager and his loud wardrobe has to make an appearance on the sidelines along with Rachel Nichols.

Will it be a shock to see the Final Four on TBS for the first time? Yes absolutely, but we watch for the games, not the network. And once the games tap off, it won’t matter if they’re on CBS or TBS. However, if “One Shining Moment” is not on the first TBS Final Four, you know there will be an outcry.

The first Final Four on cable either in 2014 or 2016 will give some sports media writers and fans another reason to lament the migration of sports’ biggest events to cable, but in this day and age, all we want are the games in HD and surround sound. TBS will provide the fans with another outlet for the games and that can’t be all bad.

While this is a major step for cable TV, until the Super Bowl airs on a cable network, the networks will still have the power in the sports discussion.