I remember doing sports radio in the early 90’s and one of the main complaints about the NCAA tournament back in the day was the television coverage.
At the time, CBS didn’t have the cadre of stations it has now and with limited media outlets, they couldn’t show all the games. There were numerous complaints every year, from they weren’t televising the right games to missing buzzer beater shots because of switching to other games.
Sometimes the only way to catch what happened was through the highlights. But now with the addition of TBS, TNT and Tru TV, from top to bottom the tournament has been a pleasure to watch on TV. The tournament may be the best televised sporting event going.
Sometimes the crowds are sparse in the first and second rounds because of the regional locations, but it doesn’t matter. With an 11 year, $6 billion deal with the NCAA, CBS delivers on a huge scale making the tourney grow each year in popularity. The different story lines and drama make almost every game a pseudo-reality show, and the main show of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Clark Kellogg is entertaining, informative and enjoyable.
The tourney is big-time and the teams and kids are great. Brackets aside, the fans are into it, but at the end it’s all about the TV. The little screen has made the tournament massive.
Mike North has been in sports radio 20-plus years. He is heard weekly on the national FoxSports Radio network, writes a twice-weekly column for the Daily Herald newspaper and does videos for their website three times a week. Listen to his podcasts at http://www.foxsportsradio.com/media/podcast-fox-sports-daybreak-fsrdaybreak/. Follow him on Twitter @North2North. Contact him at [email protected]