By Ken Reed

For the first time ever, the men’s NCAA basketball championship game will be on cable TV instead of network television. That means millions of fans that don’t have cable or satellite TV in their homes won’t have access to the title game.

The NCAA chose to go for the deal that provided the organization with the most money vs. a deal that would allow the most Americans television access to the final game. Surprise, surprise. Profit at all costs.

CBS and Turner joined forces in 2011 on the latest television contract with the NCAA. Since that time, early round games have been split between CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, but the final game has always been on CBS. Not any more. As a result of the decision to put the championship game on TBS this year, a lot of fans won’t be able to see the final game. CBS reaches 116 million homes and TBS reaches 94 million.

TBS says they will still have their “One Shining Moment” salute to the tournament at the end of the championship game broadcast. The only problem is a lot fewer people will get to see it.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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