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TBS, CBS to alternate NCAA Finals coverage

Will this be a difficulty for viewers? The early returns say "likely not."

Streeter Lecka

If you had become used to college basketball's last three games - the national semi-finals and finals - being on CBS, it's time for you to remember/ find TBS on your dial, become more familiar with March Madness on Demand, or hit the local bar/ restaurant.

Today, CBS and Turner Sports announced a change in the programming agreement:

  • in 2014 and 2015, the national semi-finals will be shown on TBS, with the Finals on CBS;
  • Regional semi-finals (Sweet Sixteen) and Regional Finals (Elite Eight) games will be split by CBS and TBS.
  • TBS and CBS will alternate the Semi-Finals AND Finals game by year, with TBS showing both in 2016, CBS showing both in 2017, and on until 2024, where the current contracted agreement with the NCAA will end.

Viewers have been able to find the games on cable, it seems, and moving many games off of the home network seems to have helped, not hurt. Per the CBS press release:

The 2013 tournament across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV was the most-watched NCAA Tournament in 19 years, averaging 10.7 million total viewers, up 11% from last year’s 9.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Will you find this annoying/ confusing?