The long-reported move of the Final Four from CBS to TBS was confirmed today by CBS and Turner in a press release today. The Final Four will take place on TBS in 2014 and 2015, while the National Championship game will remain on CBS. Also, Elite Eight games will be split between the two networks from 2014 until 2024 after exclusively airing on CBS.
However, starting in 2016, the networks will alternate coverage of the Final Four and National Championship games. TBS will get the full monty in 2016, with CBS taking all three games in 2017, and so on until the contract's expiration in 2024.
In a way, it'll be the end of an era in 2016. The National Championship game has been broadcast on CBS since 1982, and while TBS's broadcast plans are currently unknown, there's a significant chance that Jim Nantz won't be behind the mic for their broadcasts of the Final Four and Championship games. There's still a question as to whether or not Turner will use their own crew for the national semifinals, or use CBS's familiar broadcast team. We probably won't find out the specifics of that for a while, and it's going to be a bit of a shock to the system if Nantz isn't on the call for Turner.
This may be a dumb question...but why? Won't ratings be lower, if anything? Granted most people have cable,etc. I just don't understand the reasoning behind this. Also, check the year at the end of paragraph two. "...CBS taking all three games in 2017, and so on until the contract's expiration in 2014."
@wackybadger Ratings being lower will probably depend on interest in the matchup. Hasn't ESPN gotten higher ratings with the BCS National Championship than network tv?(At least certain years)
The reasoning is money. Cable channels not only make the advertising revenue in commercials but they also get subscription fees from the cable/satellite companies. So they can afford to pay more for sports. A couple of years ago ESPN was trying to get March Madness and was only blocked by a last second deal from CBS/Turner teaming up. Turner isn't doing this just to make sure the Final Four stays on broadcast tv they want big events on their channels as well and while NCAA Tournament games are nice everybody knows it gets the biggest with the Elite 8, Final 4, and the National Championship.