The broadcasting brawl for March Madness is over. And it’s terrible news for ESPN.The NCAA just announced a $10.8 billion, 14-year, agreement that gives its TV, Internet, and wireless rights to CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting Inc.
The NCAA had the ability to opt out of its three remaining years under a contract with CBS Sports, which has broadcast the tournament since 1982.
ESPN and the CBS/Turner partnership were the front runners for a new deal, but according to Sports Business Journal, ESPN recently passed on the opportunity to meet the $10.8 billion bid.
Now that CBS is partnering with Turner, with next year’s March Madness Tournament games will be aired on more networks: CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV.
“This agreement with our colleagues at Turner and the NCAA secures CBS’s standing as a year-round leader in sports television well into the next decade,” said Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports, in a statement.
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