The exclusive broadcast fate of the Final Four for 2014 and 2015 is settled: TBS will televise the NCAA Final Four national semi-finals NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, while CBS will broadcast the NCAA National Championship game.
Additionally, beginning in 2014 through 2024, coverage of the regional semi-finals and regional finals will be split by TBS and CBS. Earlier-round coverage of the tournament will continue to be televised across four national television networks – CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV – with the First Four airing exclusively on truTV.
In 2010, Turner Sports and CBS Sports entered into a 14-year exclusive media rights partnership with the NCAA to present the Division I Men's Basketball Championship from 2011-2024. As part of that agreement, CBS Sports and Turner Sports will alternate coverage of the Final Four national semi-final games and National Championship game between TBS and CBS. The rotation begins on TBS with the network televising the Final Four and National Championship in 2016 with CBS broadcasting the games in 2017.
"Since the inception of our partnership, I don't think we could have envisioned such a seamless collaboration between our two companies both in front of and behind the cameras," said David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports at Turner Broadcasting System. "Coming off another incredible year of strong ratings and exciting games, the popularity of the NCAA Tournament and Final Four continues to resonate with fans across the country. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to televise the Final Four national semi-final games and two of the Elite Eight games on TBS beginning next year, and for the network to televise its first National Championship game in 2016."
Turner Sports and CBS Sports recently concluded their third year of exclusive coverage of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship. The 2013 tournament across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV was the most-watched NCAA Tournament in 19 years, averaging 10.7 million total viewers, up 11% from last year's 9.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen.
"From the beginning, our partnership with Turner Sports has exceeded every one of our expectations," said Sean McManus, chairman, CBS Sports. "Today's news represents another win-win arrangement that continues to help us extend the reach of this marquee property by combining the resources of our two organisations. As we have done since 1982, CBS is pleased to showcase the National Championship game in 2014 and 2015."