Turner Broadcasting – CBS – NCAA deal

Dealmakers Impact Report 2010

David Levy
Turner Broadcasting System
As head of sports at the cabler, Levy oversees production, marketing, league relations, sales and acquisitions. He was intrigued at the prospect of Turner securing the rights to the NCAA basketball championships and ultimately partnered with CBS to air the games. “CBS, with the history, the tradition and the knowledge, would be a terrific partner for us,” he says. “And they thought the same way about Turner, so it really was a perfect match.”
KEY DEALS: With his counterparts at CBS and the NCAA, Levy structured the $10.8 billion, 14-year deal to air the basketball tourney. Turner was a particularly strong contender because it offered three networks: TBS, TNT and truTV. With Turner’s involvement, all games — including regional semifinals — will be aired nationally.
SPARE TIME: Family and golf.
TOP CAUSE: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Sean McManus
CBS News and Sports
McManus oversees both news and sports at the Eye, and this year negotiated a deal with the NCAA and Turner Broadcasting System to keep the popular college basketball championships at CBS. “Our sales team has figured out a better way to market and sell not only the ad inventory, but also the corporate sponsorships,” McManus says. “That, combined with our relationship and with the way we presented it and our experience, was a real advantage in keeping the network rights on CBS.”
KEY DEALS: The 14-year, $10.8 billion deal to broadcast the collegiate basketball championships. CBS has a history with the tourney, having aired it since 1982, when McManus negotiated an 11-year deal. McManus wanted to keep the tourney — and to prevent rival ESPN from nabbing it. Partnering with Turner, he did so.
SPARE TIME: Family and golf.
TOP CAUSE: March of Dimes.

James Isch
National Collegiate Athletic Association
Before becoming interim head of the NCAA, Isch was responsible for the org’s strategic planning and fiscal responsibility initiatives, along with accounting, budgetary matters, benefits, human resources and information technology. During his tenure, the NCAA’s agreement with CBS to air the March Madness basketball championship was set to expire. “There were those who questioned whether NCAA could grow the coverage of its tournament during a very difficult economic time,'” Isch says. “I think we were very fortunate.” (In November, Isch was replaced at the top of NCAA by Mark Emmert.)
KEY DEALS: Negotiated the 14-year, $10.8 billion deal with CBS and Turner to broadcast the popular March Madness men’s hoops event. The NCAA owns the tourney and wanted a long-term contract. The agreement includes no opt-out arrangement. Deal gives the NCAA an average of $740 million per year.
SPARE TIME: Family, reading and golf
TOP CAUSE: Habitat for Humanity