The NCAA is cashing in on that wild Villanova-North Carolina National Championship Game finish.
CBS Sports and Turner will hold on to their NCAA Tournament rights through 2032, as the two media companies just extended their NCAA agreements for an additional eight years. Together they will pay the NCAA $8.8 billion for the honor.
Under the terms of the new March Madness deal, Turner and CBS Sports will provide live coverage of all NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship games across any platform within their respective portfolios — including any future ones created over the life of the lengthy agreement.
All opening-, first- and second-round games will continue to be shown across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV, with Turner and CBS splitting coverage of the regional semifinals and regional finals each year. Live coverage of the Final Four national semifinals and national championship will continue to alternate between CBS and Turner each year, with CBS broadcasting the games in 2017 and TBS televising them in 2018.
As has been the case under the latest contracts, more than 90 percent of the revenue generated from the extension will be used to benefit college athletes through programs, services or direct distribution to member conferences and schools, the NCAA specified.
“The extension of our current agreement will allow our more than 1,100 NCAA member colleges and universities to continue to support student-athletes on 19,000 teams across 24 sports,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “We have a diverse membership with varying resource levels, and this extension will assist our campuses as they provide pathways to opportunity in higher education and beyond for nearly a half a million young men and women each year.”
“The NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship has been a cornerstone of CBS Sports for more than three decades, and we are very pleased to extend our successful partnership with the NCAA and Turner under the same terms that have worked so well for us these past several years,” added CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus. “This spectacular tournament continues to solidify CBS’s position as a leading broadcaster of signature championship events, delivering an unparalleled opportunity to present one of our nation’s most popular sports franchises. Best of all, this historic extension positions CBS for a profitable future as we fully maximize the value and exposure of this great event across all assets of our corporation, both current platforms and those created during the lifetime of the deal.”
“Our partnership with CBS and the NCAA has exceeded all of our expectations, and this new long-term agreement continues to align Turner with one of the premier sports properties that generates unrivaled fan engagement for more than three weeks every year,” said Turner President David Levy. “Our expansive rights provide us with a tremendous opportunity to build and pursue new business extensions while developing an even deeper connection with our fans across existing platforms, as well as those to be created in the future. As we pursue all of these opportunities, Turner is uniquely positioned to monetize these broad rights across every aspect of our business.”