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CBS Sports, Turner Sports Announce NCAA Tournament Broadcast Teams

Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, and Grant Hill, with Tracy Wolfson reporting will be the No. 1 broadcast team, calling the Final Four semifinal games and the national championship.

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The 2022 NCAA Tournament is one week away with First Four games set to tip off in Dayton on Tuesday, March 15 and Wednesday, March 16. With that, CBS Sports and Turner Sports have announced their broadcast pairings for NCAA Tournament coverage on CBS, TNT, TBS, and truTV.

Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, and Grant Hill, with Tracy Wolfson reporting will be the No. 1 broadcast team, calling the Final Four semifinal games (April 2) and the national championship (April 4).

The three other crews that will move on to the second weekend (March 24-27) of regional semifinals and finals are as follows:

  • Brian Anderson, Jim Jackson, reporter Allie LaForce
  • Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, reporter Jamie Erdahl
  • Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner, Reggie Miller, reporter Dana Jacobson

And the remaining four teams that will broadcast the first weekend of NCAA Tournament (March 17-20) games:

  • Lisa Byington, Steve Smith, Avery Johnson, reporter Lauren Shehadi
  • Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, reporter Andy Katz
  • Spero Dedes, Deb Antonelli, reporter AJ Ross
  • Brad Nessler, Brendan Haywood, reporter Evan Washburn

The two First Four games on truTV will be called by Tom McCarthy, Steve Lavin, and Avery Johnson, with Jon Rothstein reporting. Studio coverage will be hosted by Nabil Karim with analysts Candace Parker, Seth Davis, and Rex Chapman.

Greg Gumbel and Ernie Johnson will host regular NCAA Tournament studio coverage in New York with analysts Charles Barkley, Clark Kellogg, Kenny Smith, and Wally Szczerbiak during the first week of play. Karim will host in Atlanta with Parker, Davis, and Chapman, joined by coaches yet to be announced.

Additionally, Dwyane Wade will contribute in Atlanta through the Sweet 16. Adam Lefkoe will anchor the update desk in New York during the first and second rounds.

Gumbel stays in New York for the tourney’s second week while Johnson moves to Atlanta.

Along with TV coverage, viewers can watch NCAA Tournament games via the NCAA March Madness Live app. Schedule updates, news, and information will also be available @MM_MBB_TV on Twitter and NCAA.com.

Sports TV News

Jimmy Pitaro: Reaching Younger Audience A Priority for ESPN

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience. As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

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Many in the media industry have voice concern that millennials and Gen Z aren’t consuming traditional media outlets like previous generations. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said it’s a priority for the network.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience,” Pitaro said, quoted by Morning Consult sports business reporter Mark J. Burns. “As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

Pitaro made the comments at Sports Business Journal’s Media Innovators conference Wednesday. It is a continuation of comments he has made in recent years.

In 2018, Pitaro said at ESPN’s upfront “I think we are doing a fantastic job serving the sports fanatic,” said Pitaro. “What about the casual sports customer? Are we doing all we can to serve him or her?”.

In 2019, Pitaro said it was “all hands on deck” to reach a younger audience and women. “We have to be open and go to where our customers are,” he said in regards to reaching younger viewers on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Earlier this year, Pitaro added that ESPN won’t be leaving linear television anytime soon.

“What I will tell you is that as I sit here right now, that business is still incredible,” Pitaro said. “We serve the sports fan anyway and at any time. I know there are a lot of people that still want ESPN in that traditional ecosystem.”

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Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

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The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Paying Nearly $45 Billion For Rights Fees Through 2027

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually

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The last year or two has been evident that the price of rights to airing major college and professional sporting events on television are only going up. But the various networks either with longstanding relationships with leagues and conferences or looking to break into the media rights landscape are willing to pay up. That’s no more evident with Disney, which will be shelling out tens of billions of dollars to have regular season and postseason events air on ESPN.

According to Sportico, which reviewed Disney’s annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ESPN is set to spend $44.9 billion on sports media rights through 2027.

Currently, the network’s largest spending comes for its Monday Night Football package, which is $2.6 billion annually. Additionally, ESPN will pay $1.4 billion through the 2024-25 season for NBA rights.

The Sportico report noted ESPN will generate more than $8.1 billion in affiliate revenue to help offset those costs. The network will soon be entering talks to renew its media rights deal to be the exclusive home for nearly all NCAA Division I championships, as well as engaging in new NBA rights negotiations.

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