*Full disclosure I’m currently an employee at Turner Broadcasting in Network Operations for NBA League Pass
This year the semifinal games of the Final Four will be broadcasted on TBS, not CBS. CBS will still have the NCAA Championship game but, Turner will have the Final Four games.
In addition to offering a generic national broadcast on TBS, Turner will also have team-specific broadcasts on TNT and truTV. The broadcasts will feature different camera angles, announcers and half-time shows geared toward a specific school (pregame and postgame shows will be simulcast on all three networks).
“This concept is born out of the popularity and incredible passion fans have for their college basketball teams and schools, and with this innovative approach we are tapping into their enthusiasm with three distinct telecasts,” Turner vice president and COO Larry Daniels told Sports Business Journal.
I think this will go over really well with diehards fans of the schools that reach the Final Four. With broadcasters who know the ins and outs of the programs fans won’t be subjected to the same generic sideline reports and commentary they have heard throughout the entire tournament.
So for example, Florida State fans wouldn’t have to hear about how Bernard James was in the Air Force on its TNT or truTV broadcasts, while it would likely be mentioned on TBS. If executed properly then it should be like listening to the radio broadcast for fans, rather than national TV broadcast.
As SBJ pointed out, the three broadcasts combined aren’t likely to pass CBS’ average of 15.7 million viewers of the Final Four last season, but it could equal it.. TBS is the largest of the three stations in 100.5 million homes, while TNT is in 99.3 million homes and truTV is in 92.3 million homes.