John Ourand & Michael Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL report today:
ESPN has told the NCAA that it will not increase its bid to obtain the NCAA men’s basketball tournament rights, clearing the way for CBS and Turner to share the rights starting next year, according to sources with direct knowledge of the talks.
As I’ve written previously here, I fully expected CBS to outbid ESPN for the broadcast rights to March Madness, and apparently Turner has partnered with CBS to help up that bid on what will reportedly be a 14-year broadcast rights deal worth $710M annually.
From shortly after the time I first reported on Feb. 1 that the NCAA would expand to 96 teams, NCAA Senior VP/Basketball & Business Strategies Greg Shaheen has denied that a plan was in place to expand the tournament by 32 teams. He did the same in SBJ’s report: Read more…