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Turner Takes Fox-CNN-MSNBC Approach to March Madness

It’s not necessarily the same as courting red states and blue states, but when it televises college basketball’s March Madness semifinals next year, Turner Sports will offer viewers essentially the same options that people had for the last presidential election.

According to Sports Business Journal, in addition to the main game broadcast on TBS, sister networks TNT and TruTV will offer more partisan simulcasts of the same event.

… In an unprecedented move, Turner Sports and CBS will produce three different telecasts for each of the two national semifinal games, each with its own set of announcers. The traditional national telecast will run on TBS, while TNT and truTV will carry the same games at the same time with announcers and camera angles customized to each specific team.

TNT and truTV also will produce different halftime shows that will be focused on the different teams in the Final Four. Pre- and postgame shows will be simulcast across all three channels. …

SBJ notes that “Turner and CBS will likely maintain their strategy of doing one national sale that will see the same advertisements run at the same time in all three productions.”

The innovation will be part of the first broadcast of the semifinal games on cable. As part of their current contract, CBS does retain the NCAA men’s basketball championship game in 2014. Turner will get its first crack at the title tilt in 2016, then will alternate with CBS through the duration of their contract, expiring in 2024.

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