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CBS and Turner Sports extend contract for NCAA men’s basketball tournament

LOS ANGELES – CBS and Turner Sports have renewed their vows with the NCAA, keeping the television rights of the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship through 2032 with an extension worth $8.8 billion.

The deal, which will pay the NCAA an average of $1.1 billion a year for eight years starting in 2025, further demonstrates the value of live sports TV events in an age when viewers can watch their favorite programs at their own convenience.

The new deal begins after the conclusion of the current 14-year contract, which pays the NCAA $10.8 billion over its full term.

By extending the rights, CBS and Turner come well-armed the next time they negotiate carriage deals with cable and satellite operators.

Both CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus and Turner Broadcasting president David Levy acknowledged in a telephone interview that the event gives their companies leverage when those agreements come up over the course of the lengthy deal.

“Increasingly, television is all about big events,” McManus said.

The executives said they were highly motivated to extend the deal, which has been beneficial to both companies since it was signed in 2010.

“The thinking is it’s been a successful three-way partnership for six years so why not continue it,” CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves told the Los Angeles Times.

Turners’ cable networks TNT, TBS and TruTV have seen their ratings skyrocket during the tournament weeks. Fans have been happy with the deal as it makes every game in the tournament available on national television.


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