Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Digest: NCAA Extends Deal with CBS, Turner

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Sports Digest: NCAA Extends Deal with CBS, Turner

Article excerpt

NCAA extends deal with CBS and Turner

With eight years left on their deal to broadcast the NCAA Tournament, CBS and Turner are tacking on another eight.

The extension announced Tuesday goes all the way through 2032. The length of the contract is not unusual for college sports these days, though with the NCAA facing legal challenges on multiple fronts, a lot can change in 16 years.

Provisions in the agreement protect CBS and Turner should the tourney start to look very different. But network executives hope this deal itself increases the odds that March Madness marches on mostly the same. The extension pays an average of $1.1 billion per season, up from more than $770 million on average under the current contract.

CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus and Turner President David Levy expressed confidence, too, in the value of the terms what McManus called "a very prudent decision."

Meanwhile, viewership is down * Compared to last year, Jim Nantz lost more than half his audience with the NCAA men's basketball championship game's move from CBS to cable television's TBS.

Just under 13.9 million people watched Villanova's last-second victory over North Carolina on TBS last week, which used the CBS basketball crew of Nantz, Grant Hill and Bill Raftery, the Nielsen company said. The 2015 final between Duke and Wisconsin, shown on CBS, had 28.3 million viewers.

The Turner networks split the audience for the final game, showing telecasts with team-specific announcing teams on TNT and TruTV. Add in those viewers, and the final was seen by a total of 17.8 million people. CBS did not provide the team-specific streams of the final game last year, not wanting to dilute its audience, but that wasn't an issue with Turner owning TBS, TNT and TruTV.

Baseball: Missouri State 16, Missouri 1 * The Tigers' struggles against their in-state rival continued in the worst ways at Hammons Field, where the Bears pummeled Tim Jamieson's team with 14 hits and an eight-run eighth inning. …

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