Turner Gets the NCAA Tournament

By Chris Ariens 

It looks like the annual TVNewser bracket challenge is going to have to expand.

This morning, the NCAA announced that CBS Sports, headed by News/Sports executive Sean McManus, and several Turner channels have entered into a 14-year agreement that also expands the tournament field size to 68 teams.

In an email to staff, obtained by TVNewser, Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes tells employees, “I’m pleased to announce that today, Turner acquired, with CBS, the television, Internet and wireless rights to the annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, including the Final Four and the National Championship Game.”

Beginning in 2016, coverage of the regional finals will be split by CBS and Turner with the Final Four and the National Championship game alternating every year between CBS and TBS. (Looks like Conan is going to slide on some nights, like Letterman has for years.)

The deal begins with next year’s tournament.