CBS and Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting are jointly airing the NCAA men's basketball tournament, as they have done since 2011. It's a unique partnership among companies that would otherwise be competitors.
"I remember when it was announced, ... it didn't seem to make any sense," said Grant Hill, a member of the joint network broadcast team. "But now being a part of this, it really has worked well, and you look at it not as two separate companies, but as family."
And this year marks a first with the semifinals and finals airing on TBS, a cable network as opposed to the broadcast network CBS. The championship game is April 4, two days after the Final Four.
David Levy, president of Turner, called the the CBS-Turner tandem "the poster child in this business around partnerships with different media companies."
"We wanted to be equal partners," he said. "Here we are today where we are going to carry the finals and semifinals on TBS."
The concept of media competitors partnering will probably continue, especially as sports rights fees have gotten increasingly expensive and media outlets look to share those costs. The CBS-Turner NCAA deal extends through 2024.
"We've talked about similar partnerships," said Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports. "I do think you could see more partnerships down the road. ... It wouldn't surprise me if certain partnerships develop in the future involving a cable company and a network."
A big effect of the partnership is that every single tournament game will be shown live on broadcast or cable television. That's a big improvement from the past. "It used to suck for fans because you could only watch one game at a time," said Charles Barkley, a commentator for the tourney. "This thing has been the best thing to ever happen to college basketball. You have a little school, now you can watch your team play."