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March Madness Update: Elite Eight and Final Four coverage shifts to TBS

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March Madness coverage is once again in flux. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, they switch it up on you.

TBS takes over Saturday’s first two Elite eight contests which previously aired on CBS. The latter will continue to air the second two matchups on Sunday, that’s channel 5 locally.

Then for the Final Four next Saturday, all action shifts to TBS, TNT, and TruTV. The former will air the tournament’s main feed, while the latter two will have alternate angles. CBS will be left out.

Until Monday, April 7 when, as per usual, it’ll air the National Championship.

All this flipping around is sure to anger some fans, particularly those without cable or satellite. But this is part of the deal that allowed CBS to hang on to at least some of the Madness and prevent ESPN from stealing the whole kit and caboodle.

Allowing the Time Warner/Turner outlets to grab more of the coverage keeps them happy considering all the cash they’ve paid, so CBS is forced to dance with the devil.

By the way, ratings are up once again, at least through the first week of the tourney. They’re about 7% higher than they were last year. So most fans seem to be able to find the games.

Which is good because next year, the final three rounds will reverse. CBS will have the first two Elite Eight matchups, and the Final Four, while TBS will carry the second two Elite Eight contests and the National Championship. Oy.

I guess that’s why they call it March Madness.

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