On Tuesday, the NCAA announced its deal with CBS and Turner for broadcasting rights to the men’s basketball tournament would go for another sixteen years. CBS and Turner are extending its contract with the NCAA for another eight years as the current deal would have expired on 2024 but not will get through 2032.
The agreement to add eight more years to the CBS’ broadcast rights deal holds a substantial valuation of $19.6 billion, which is rough $800 million per year. As exciting as it can be, plenty can change in 16 years, yet game experts claim securing a sweet deal like that is often seen nowadays. The deal leaves CBS and Turner in the pilot seat as the exclusive cable provider with live coverage of all games until 2032.
Having exclusive rights presents a sizeable advantage for the cable company giant as it secures years of coverage, on an industry proven to haul millions of dollars per year. Among the requirements also presented in the new deal between the NCAA and CBS, the tournament’s format can’t be changed in any way during the period agreed upon.
This secures the tournament from any change focused on more advertising or anything that would diminish the game’s virtue and reputation. According to the Sports chairman for CBS Sean McManus, the company’s ever increasing support to the NCAA is sufficient enough to make them rest assure regarding the tournament’s standing. Even though the decision to extend the current deal with CBS and Turner was labeled as prudent by both McManus and Turner president David Levy, its downsides have to be dealt with.
CBS, Turner and NCAA reach long-term multimedia rights extension for NCAA Div. I Men’s Basketball Championship: https://t.co/P6LEH6uFy2
— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) April 12, 2016
As technology keeps advancing exponentially, this factor is worth taken into account given the long duration of the contract. The NCAA, CBS, and Turner could face many adjustments being done to the contract as years begin to pass, one of them being the invention of new technologies. However, the contract even addresses that particular subject, due to a section including the rights to technologies that would be catalogued as science fiction in the present.
The contract’s particulars are set to last
— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) April 12, 2016
Still, the contract holds that opening games will continue to be broadcasted among TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV, a ruling that also applies to first and second-round games. Considering the huge amount of ratings from regional semifinals and finals, Turner and CBS also agreed to take turns covering the games, according to the deal announced on Tuesday.
CBS and Turner will also split life coverage for the Final Four national semifinals and the national championship. Also, the NCAA’s corporate marketing program will continue to be managed by CBS Sports alongside Turner.
Even though there were a few discussions regarding changing the format from 68 teams to 96, the subject suddenly vanished, and good that it did consider the NCAA’s request to keep the format intact. The president of Turner David Levy – acting alongside CBS as one company under the contract – assured the tournament’s integrity for the duration of the with the NCAA.
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) April 12, 2016
“There are clauses that the tournament remains the premium tournament that it is today, the destination for Division I basketball schools to play and compete in,” said Levy in a statement for ESPN. “If that changes in any way, shape or form, there are clauses that will allow us to have conversations if that’s necessary.”