CBS and Turner Sports revealed the preliminary TV schedule for the 2011 March Madness tournament.
For the first time, games will be spread across four networks, with CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV all airing games live.
To accommodate the new TV partners, games will have staggered start times, and expanded programming hours, encouraging viewers to flip to another game once the one they are watching ends. Games will start as early as noon ET, and continue live through midnight ET.
The Final Four and the National Championship will remain on CBS, while the First Four games will appear on Turner’s TruTV March 15 and 16.
Game and studio productions will be seamless across the networks, using the same talent lineup, graphics and music packages.
Much more information, including the schedule, is after the jump.
TURNER SPORTS AND CBS SPORTS ANNOUNCE 2011 NCAAÂ® DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP TELECAST SCHEDULE
FOR FIRST TIME EVER ALL GAMES TO BE BROADCAST NATIONALLY ACROSS CBS, TBS, TNT AND truTV
NEW SCHEDULE FORMAT FEATURES STAGGERED START TIMES AND EXTENDED VIEWING WINDOWS
Turner Sports and CBS Sports announced today their television schedule for the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, which will include a number of new features to enhance the television experience for viewers and fans. For the first time in the tournament’s 73-year history, all of the games will be available live in their entirety across four national television networks: CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV.
Additionally, the new 14-year agreement between Turner Sports, CBS Sports and the NCAA allows the viewer to be the programmer by watching and switching between all of the game action across the four networks. The new format features staggered start times, extended programming hours across the networks and give viewers the ability to watch more live game action throughout the day.
CBS Sports and Turner Sports will present fully integrated game and studio productions across all four networks throughout the tournament, utilizing universal graphics, musical beds, unique camera angles and an integrated talent line-up. The two sports divisions also will collaborate to provide seamless studio integration across TBS, TNT, truTV and CBS with pregame, halftime and post-game shows from studios in New York City and Atlanta. Studio shows will include The ROAD TO THE FINAL FOURÂ®, Infiniti NCAA Tip-Off, AT&T At the Half and Inside March MadnessÂ® presented by Buick.
The 2011 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship tips off in primetime with the NCAA FIRST FOURâ„¢ on truTV Tuesday, March 15 and Wednesday, March 16 and concludes with the FINAL FOURÂ® semifinals and national championship game on CBS on Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 4, respectively.
Additional highlights include (Complete telecast schedule attached):
* CBS will air the Final Four semifinals and national championship game for the 30th year, in addition to a total of 26 games throughout the tournament, including the second round, third round, Sweet 16Â® and Elite 8Â®.
* Turner will air 41 games across its three television networks. TBS will air a total of 16 contests, including games in the second round, third round and Sweet 16.
* TNT will air a total of 12 games, including second round and third round match ups.
* truTV will tip off the tournament’s coverage airing all FIRST FOUR games, as well as a total of 13 games during the FIRST FOUR and second round. It also will air the Reese’s College All-Star Game on Friday, April 1 as part of NCAA FINAL FOUR FRIDAY.
“The NCAA tournament television coverage has expanded and evolved with creativity and technology each year,” said Mike Aresco, executive vice president, programming, CBS Sports. “Now, as we collaborate on this schedule with our partners at Turner, two great media companies will further enhance the viewing experience as every game will be televised nationally, giving viewers greater choice. We look forward to this important next step, which offers viewers unprecedented coverage of America’s true national tournament.”
“We are proud of the programming schedule we were able to jointly create with our colleagues at CBS, which provides fans with the unprecedented opportunity of watching every game live on national television,” said Christina Miller, senior vice president of Turner Sports strategy, marketing and programming. “With extensive studio and game coverage across TBS, TNT, truTV and CBS there is more programming than ever during one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year. NCAA basketball fans will have the opportunity to see every game, from start to finish.”
“A big part of NCAA March Madness is the intense buzzer beater action all around the country. With two national media partners, fans are able to choose complete coverage of any game and catch all of the action,” said Greg Shaheen, interim executive vice president of championships and alliances. “Next month, living rooms across the country become the control rooms as CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV take the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship to the next level, and our fans reap the benefits.”
Turner Sports and CBS will wrap up their extensive live coverage from Houston, Texas with the FINAL FOUR semifinals and national championship game. A one-hour Infiniti NCAA Tip-Off show on truTV at 3:00 PM, ET begins Final Four Saturday’s coverage. CBS takes the reigns at 4:00 PM with a two-hour ROAD TO THE FINAL FOURÂ®, followed by the broadcast of the two national semifinal games beginning at 6:00 PM, ET. truTV wraps up the Final Four with Inside March Madness presented by Buick.
For the 30th straight year, CBS Sports will broadcast the national championship game on Monday, April 4 at 9:00 PM, ET. truTV will air a one-hour Infiniti NCAA Tip-Off show leading up to CBS’s coverage.
About the NCAA
The NCAAÂ® is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletics opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA Championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit NCAA.org and NCAA.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions – AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola – and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners – Enterprise, Infiniti, The Hartford, Hershey’s, LG, Lowe’s, Planters, Unilever, and UPS.
About CBS Sports
CBS Sports, a year-round leader in television sports, broadcasts a portfolio of events on the CBS Television Network, including the NFL’s American Football Conference; THE NFL TODAY; college basketball, including the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship; golf, including The MastersÂ® and PGA Championship; college football, including the SEC ON CBS; the U.S. Open Tennis Championships; CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR, including track & field, auto racing and gymnastics. In addition, the division directs the CBS College Sports Network, a 24-hour national cable network; produces Inside the NFL for Showtime; and partners with CBS Sports.com in creating a recognized leader among sports Internet destinations.
About Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.,
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world. Turner Sports, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is an industry leader in televised and online sports programming, airing championship level sporting events on TBS, TNT and truTV, and managing some of the most popular sports sites on the Internet. Turner Sports’ television line-up includes the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, NASCAR and professional golf. The company’s digital portfolio includes SI.com, NASCAR.COM, NCAA.com, PGATOUR.COM, GOLF.com and PGA.com, as well as an accompanying collection of mobile websites and connected device apps. Turner Sports and the NBA also jointly manage NBA Digital, which includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA Mobile, the NBA Game Time App, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.