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In the early part of this era circa - , CBS carried one game on the opening Saturday and the championship game the following Saturday.
The same would be true on both counts for the next three years.
For their inaugural season,  CBS had to scramble to arrange a regular season schedule as NBC still held exclusive rights to certain collegiate conferences. Packer also played a key role in helping CBS put together its schedule. Eastern Time games on Thursday and Friday nights for the first two weekends.
Tom Brookshier , who was a play-by-play broadcaster for the NFL on CBS at the time, became the subject of controversy because of a remark he made during a Philadelphia Eagles vs.
New Orleans Saints game broadcast on December 11, After a program note for an upcoming telecast of an NCAA men's basketball game involving the University of Louisville , Brookshier said that the players on the Louisville team had "a collective I.
Louisville's athletic director, Bill Olsen, felt that the remark was racist , since Louisville's starting five were all African American. Brookshier later apologized, calling his remark "stupid" and "dumb," but was angered over CBS' reaction, saying "I'm not about to be judged on one comment.
Now my own network is bailing out on me and taking me off the air. After 20 years at CBS, I deserve better than this. For the tournament , CBS expanded its coverage on the first Sunday to a tripleheader.
The following season marked the first year that CBS had aired a regional semifinal tournament doubleheader, leaving ESPN with only one live game on each of these nights. Although Musburger was fired on April Fools' Day which fell on the Sunday of Final Four weekend that year , he still did play-by-play for the championship game.
Musburger had done play-by-play although he worked in the studio for the first weekends for CBS' coverage of the Final Four since During the —91 season, CBS' February 10, broadcast of a game between UNLV and Arkansas which, respectively, were the 1 and 2 college basketball teams in the nation at the time drew the highest rating for a regular season college basketball game since In , CBS adopted their current theme, which has been used in variations ever since the first update coming in During the —96 season, CBS used a "wheel" concept on selected days, using a set of games with start times that were usually staggered by one hour.
CBS would periodically use this concept the next few seasons as well. It would influence how the tournament was conducted in terms of start times, except by that time, four different networks would be airing games. The previous several years, Nantz worked the studio on the first weekend as was the case with his predecessor, Brent Musburger while Packer called games with various partners.
From to , only one first- or second-round site and one regional site were designated as sites for the high definition broadcasts. In , all regional games were broadcast in HD, and four first- and second-round sites were designated for HD coverage. Local stations broadcasting in both digital and analog had the option of airing separate games on their high definition and standard definition channels, to take advantage of the available HD coverage.
Also in , CBS struck a deal with Yahoo! This was also the only year that Nantz and Packer worked Thursday through Saturday tournament games on each of the first two weekends. The service was available for free to AOL subscribers. The service was profitable and set a record for simultaneous online streams at , These games are also available via March Madness on Demand and on CBS affiliates in the market areas of the teams playing.
Eastern Time for regular late afternoon programming, which consists of local newscasts and the CBS Evening News , as well as any other syndicated programming such as The Oprah Winfrey Show. In areas where The Price Is Right was pre-empted for basketball, the game show aired within this window.
CSTV also broadcast the official pregame and postgame shows and press conferences from the teams involved.
However, due to satellite limitations, first round "constant" feeds were only available in standard definition. Upgrades at the CBS Broadcast Center allowed all feeds, flex and constant, to be presented in high definition for the tournament.
However, all games will now be nationally — rather than regionally — televised. Both games from a particular section and site are shown back-to-back on the same network each day, except for the second session on March 20, , which was split between CBS and TruTV so that CBS could show 60 Minutes at its regular time, or as close to it as possible.
CBS also keeps coverage of the Division II final , which is part of the larger contract for this tourney. In , analysts Greg Anthony and Clark Kellogg switched roles, with Anthony moving to the broadcast booth and Kellogg returning to his previous role as a studio analyst.
However, on January 17, , halfway through the season , CBS announced Anthony would be suspended indefinitely following his arrest in Washington, D. Most areas saw only eight of 32 first-round games, seven second-round games, and four regional semifinal games out of the possible 56 games during these rounds.
The structure used by CBS resulted in far fewer hours of first-round coverage than under the former ESPN scheduling structure, but allows the games to reach a much larger audience than ESPN is able to reach. CBS provided three sets of feeds from each venue, a "constant" feed, a "swing" feed and a "flex" feed.
Constant feeds remained primarily on a given game, and were used primarily by stations with local interest in a game. Despite its name, a constant feed would occasionally veer away to other games for brief updates, however coverage generally remained with the initial game. Swing feeds tended to stay on games of natural interest, such as teams from local conferences, but would go to other games that have close scores.
On a flex feed, coverage flipped from one venue to another, depending on the action at the various games in progress.
If one game was a blowout, coverage would switch to a more competitive game. Flex games had no natural interest for the stations carrying them, allowing the flex game to be the best game in progress.
Station feeds were planned in advance and individual owned-and-operated and affiliated stations had the option of requesting either constant or flex feed for various games. In contrast, the regional finals, the national semifinals and the national championship were broadcast throughout the country.
From to , CBS aired all of its game broadcasts on a national basis. The network aired a total of 26 games in each of the three years which did not include the games to which Turner Sports held broadcast rights : eight second-round games four games per day , seven third-round games four games during the first day and three games on the second due to the network's broadcast of 60 Minutes , four games in the Sweet 16 two games per day , all four of the Elite Eight games two games per day , both of the Final Four games and the Championship Game.
The network aired a total of 22 games in each of the two years not including the games broadcast through the Turner Sports' end of the agreement : eight second-round games four games per day , seven third-round games four games on the first day and three games on the second to accommodate its airing of 60 Minutes , four games in the Sweet 16 two games per day , two of the Elite Eight games both of which were played on a Sunday and the Championship Game.
Current[ edit ] In , CBS once again aired all of its game broadcasts nationally. The network aired a total of 21 games not including the games broadcast through the Turner Sports' end of the agreement : eight first-round games four games per day , seven second-round games four games on the first day and three games on the second to accommodate its airing of 60 Minutes four games in the Sweet Sixteen two games per day and two of the Elite Eight games both of which were played on a Saturday.