TSN Picks Up NCAA Basketball Tournament

You had to know that TSN2 airing college basketball for the past two seasons was going to lead to this eventually, TSN and TSN2 have picked up exclusive Canadian rights to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, or March Madness as it is known by some. Starting this year, CBS will split coverage with TBS, TNT and TruTV in the United States, so assuming TSN does the right thing and broadcasts matches on the US cable nets as first choice, then Canadians will get almost every game in the 2011 tournament.

TSN’s coverage begins on Thursday March 17 with a 30 minute pregame show at 11:30am ET, leading into a full day of live coverage that afternoon. TSN will produce its own studio show for the tournament. Live look ins to other games will happen throughout the coverage.

This is the latest major sports property that The Score has lost over the past 15 months. The three biggest sports rating producers for The Score one year ago, Premier League, March Madness and Raptors games (WWE isn’t a sport by the way) are all gone now. It is also likely that The Score is out for NBA Playoff coverage this year.

Continue after the page break for a look at what the TSN/TSN2 schedule could look like

Alright, I’ve taken into consideration conflicts with hockey, the NBA, curling and anything else TSN or TSN2 may be airing in March. If I missed anything, then let me know. This is not a confirmed broadcast schedule, just a look at what we might be able to expect.

Thursday March 17
12:00pm, 2:30pm, 7:00pm, 9:30pm on CBS
12:30pm (TruTV), 3:00pm (TruTV), 7:15pm (TNT), 9:45pm (TNT) on TSN
2:00pm (TNT), 4:30pm (TNT), 6:45pm (TBS), 9:15pm (TBS) on TSN2

Friday March 18
12:00pm, 2:30pm, 7:00pm, 9:30pm on CBS
12:30pm (TruTV), 3:00pm (TruTV), 9:45pm (TNT) on TSN
2:00pm (TNT), 4:30pm (TNT), 6:45pm (TBS), 9:15pm (TBS) on TSN2

Saturday March 19
12:00pm, 2:30pm, 5:00pm, 7:30pm on CBS
6:00pm (TNT), 8:30pm (TNT) on TSN
12:00pm (CBS), 2:30pm (CBS), 5:00pm (CBS), 7:00pm (TBS), 9:30pm (TBS) on TSN2

Sunday March 20
12:00pm, 2:30pm, 5:00pm on CBS
6:00pm (TNT), 8:30pm (TNT) on TSN2
9:30pm (TBS) on TSN

Thursday March 24
7:00pm, 9:30pm on CBS
7:15pm (TBS), 9:55pm (TBS) on TSN2

Friday March 25
7:00pm, 9:30pm on CBS
7:15pm (TBS), 9:55pm (TBS) on TSN2

Saturday March 26
4:20pm, 6:55pm on CBS and TSN2

Sunday March 27
2:10pm, 4:55pm on CBS
4:55pm on TSN2

Saturday April 2
6:00pm, 8:30pm on CBS and TSN2

Monday April 4
9:00pm on CBS and TSN2

37 thoughts on “TSN Picks Up NCAA Basketball Tournament

  1. From what I’m seeing, this arrangement with TSN/TSN2 is for this year’s tournament. Any word on who has it in future years?

    • I’m not sure. If it gets good ratings, then you can bet TSN will do their best to get it again. I am surprised that Rogers didn’t pick it up to be honest with you. Having 5 channels would come in handy for an event like this.

  2. I am a bit confused does this deal include all games or is it just a select amount of game?

    • Includes all games, but since four games are played at once in the 2nd round (formerly the 1st round) and three are played at once in the 3rd round (formerly the 2nd round), there is no way TSN and TSN2 can air every game.

  3. I’d be surprised if SCORE didn’t have NBA playoff games in April when TSN/TSN2 is loaded up with NHL playoffs and SNET has Jays games.

  4. i’m disappointed; i really liked the score’s coverage.

  5. TSN better be smart and shows the day games on TSN and TSN2 and then always show the game that isnt on CBS.

    its a shame, canadians dont get TNT, TRUTV or TBS.

  6. So nobody’s picking up the first round?

  7. TheScore would jump back and forth between games during commercials, had a terrific desk for analysis and cut away from bad games to show close ones or Gus Johnson. I don’t see TSN doing any of this.

    I wish TheScore had a little more cash…

    • I agree. The only good thing about this will be possible triple coverage between CBS, TSN and TSN2 in the first round.

    • It really is tragic. I can see TSN ruining this completely.

      • Why do you say that? Considering that The Scores doesn’t even have any basketball analysts left, it can’t possibly be worse than what their product would have been this year. Considering the promotion TSN is putting into it, I think they will treat it like a major event and do fine.

        • By sticking it on TSN2. It’s screwing over all of the people who don’t get TSN2 when The Score would have had every game. They’re also sticking all of the games at 6PM on TSN2 because they would rather commit to SportsCentre.

        • Also the Score still have their analysts for NCAA which were Tim Micallef and Sherman Hamilton.

          • I haven’t seen Hamilton once on Court Surfing this year. I think The Score gave up rights to him when they lost Raptors rights (he is a Raptors TV employee). He is working for TSN in Halifax as the CIS Final 8 this weekend, so it stands to reason that he will be in studio for TSN’s March Madness coverage.

  8. So it looks like TSN won’t show the first round, as they have hockey on Tuesday and Wednesday and TSN2 has Versus hockey on Tuesday and the NBA on Wednesday. That’s a little annoying. I wish they would have at least sublicensed the games to someone else.

    • The games will be on TSN.ca, which is a lot better than nothing. I am kind of surprised they didn’t sublicense the games to The Score or something, but I think The Score has Court Surfing one night and an NBA game the next. I don’t think there is a whole lot of interest in the First Four teams since most people will have probably never heard of the schools.

  9. They’re doing what I feared. Instead of going to another game, they’re going to commercial whenever CBS does. The Score would have changed games instead of going to commercial.

  10. Thanks TSN. While I was stuck watching a 1 vs. 16 I missed a buzzer beater.

    • Switch over to TSN2. Jeez how hard is it? TSN can offer double the coverage The Score can and they have so far. At times there has been 3 different games available between TSN, TSN2 and CBS this afternoon.

      • Not everyone gets TSN2 you know

        • If you don’t get it, then you shouldn’t be complaining. Its not that TSN didn’t broadcast it, it’s just that you chose not to pay to see it. TSN2 is 50% of TSN’s coverage, especially in the early rounds where there are so many games going on.

          • CBS and The Score….Even Sportsnet back in the day…….. used to do the flipping for us.

            They would find the “best” games…or at least the ones that were coming down to the wire… and make sure we got to see the endings.

            I don’t need to hear Leo and Jack talk…I want to see the games!

            TSN is ruining March Madness. Yep. I said it.

  11. TSN IS A DISGRACE TO SPORTS FANS. IT IS BY FAR THE WORST SPORTS NETWORK IN CANADA. Now the reason I believe this is because I LOVE NCAA SPORTS and TSN is a joke when it comes to providing NCAA coverage. Anyone watching the rd3 game between ND-FSU on sunday ONLY GOT TO WATCH HALF TEH GAME BECAUSE TSN 2 SWITCHED TO CURLING AT HALFTIME !!!!! WTF is that ?!?! you cant show half a game !!! To make matters worse, TSN1 kept showing UK-Illinois until the final whistle eventhough it was out of reach with over 4 mins to play !! Only then did we get to see ND-FSU, sure the game was a blowout in the end, but only a 10pt game at half, when they decided to switch to curling.
    My hate for TSN is only surpassed by my hate for the CRTC which makes it impossible for us to get real sports from ESPN/ESPN/ESPNU

    • While what TSN did on both Saturday and Sunday night with curling was wrong, I disagree that it makes it the worst sports network in Canada. BTW even if ESPN was allowed in Canada, most of its programming would be blacked out because of Canadian rights deals. You can’t blame the CRTC for those, you’d have to blame the league.

  12. I am ignorant to the “Canadian Rights deals” you speak of. please enlighten me. More importantly how can I get ESPN and family networks (The american versions) on my TV in Toronto ???? Im sick of relying on streaming internet feeds.

    Out of the “big 3”, TSn-Score-RSN, I normally hate TSN the most because they act like they are ESPN, but show us curling instead of second half of games….Im not a huge fan of over the top “canadian content” when it clashes with high end sports, because lets be honest the only canadian sport we compete at a competitive level is Hockey, and thats fine. Now I understand some people want to watch curling and sportsdesk 6 times a day, and the MLS, and those dumb talk shows, and I certainly dont want to stop them. but i dont like watching that. Why cant I have a choice? Why cant I get ESPN and pay for it in my living room? So much for the free market. Is my only option to “go illegal” and get a Direct TV dish???? please help me out.

    • Let me use MLB as an example. Rogers Sportsnet owns exclusive MLB rights in Canada. They don’t show ESPN games. If ESPN were allowed to broadcast in Canada all MLB on ESPN games would be blacked out. This isn’t because of the CRTC, but because Major League Baseball wants to protect their Canadian rights.

      The same would go for the Turner networks’ coverage of March Madness. My point is, half of the things that ESPN shows would just be blacked out anyway. Everything from MLB to NBA to tennis to Pardon the Interruption. I’m thinking the NCAA (and ESPN) make loads off of selling games via PPV packages in Canada. ESPN probably doesn’t even care about the Canadian market. They are making money by owning part of TSN. If anything TSN pretends they are ESPN Canada, they show sports that appeal to Canadians. Same as ESPN Australia and ESPN UK for example. ESPN US isn’t available in those countries either.

      Yes the only way to receive ESPN in Canada is illegally.

      Just one question, whatever gave you the idea Canada is a true free-market country? We have more social programs than the United States for example and even the US isn’t really free-market.

      • thanks for the info !

        I was under the impression FSWcanada had gone under. My cable provider (bell) stopped carrying it last october i think, so I assumed the rumours were true. DAMMIT ! im locked in for another year too !!! they “F”d me big time…

        Regarding ESPN in Canada, so your saying theres no way Canadian will ever get adequate NCAA football/basketball coverage the way theyr do in the US…thats depressing.

        As for your free market question, probably a topic for another forum, but to answer it, oh I dont know probably the decades of propaganda force fed at school and on the national media outlets.

        • No problem.

          FSWC is still alive and kicking on every provider except Bell. Even better than before actually with Copa Libertadores, Europa League, one Ligue 1 game a week, a couple Serie A games etc.

          What I’m saying is I think ESPN makes the most money by selling its GamePlan/Full Court (or whatever its called now) package to Canadian providers. I don’t even know if they’d be interested in the Canadian market. Is it possible, yes. Likely, probably not. I think ESPNU will eventually come to Canada and we may even eventually see a channel dedicated to CIS and NCAA sports.

          I guess I went to school recently enough (or at least had a good enough economics teacher) to actually be taught that Canada isn’t really free market. But then again, no country really is because it is a method that is hard to make work.

  13. Another question you might be able to help me out with. When it comes to soccer coverage, Canadian networks are pathetic. All we get is some CHampions and EPL, (dont get me started on MLS), and Liga on Gol, oh and Serie A, but who cares about series A when you know one of 2 teams wins the title 99% of the time. all are nice and dandy. What about south american soccer ?? You know the continent that feeds all major european clubs. Where can I watch the Copa Libertadores (South American equivalent of Champions League) ??? Its literally the second best tournament of the year and we get squat ! If Champions is the NBA finals, then Copa Libertadores is definately the March Madness of soccer. and we get nothing in Canada !! THe Argentinean League is top shelf action and we get nothing, I think some of the brazilian is on Gol but not sure…so my question is, how can I get Fox Sports Latin America here in Canada?? cuz I know they shows all of Copa Lib and lots of Arg league and highlights of all SA leagues.

    THanks…sorry for ranting…but its so frustrating to live in a city of 6 million that claims to be multicultural and its TV sports content is horsesh*t, all Canadian and Euro centric and I look outside and most people are brown !

    • We do get Copa Libertadores in Canada. Fox Sports World airs 5-6 matches every week. In effect, almost better coverage than the Champions League gets. You can see the upcoming schedule here

      As for the Argentine League, the big problem there is they are basically blocking the international channels from buying rights to their league by making them pay a premium (like at least as much as the domestic broadcasters pay). Needless to say this doesn’t make any sense, so I don’t think it is shown at all outside of South America anymore. Really sad, but it shows you that just like the TV networks don’t always put fans first, some of the leagues don’t either.

      GolTV airs a couple Brazilian matches per week. Usually pretty good coverage even though it gets tape delayed every once in a while.

      As for Fox Sports Latin America. The original channel would only be available through satellite providers in South American countries. I have little to no knowledge of these and I doubt they would even work in Canada if you somehow managed to get a dish and setup an account. The watered-down American version, Fox Deportes, is available on US satellite systems, but just let me warn you that every Copa Libertadores match on Fox Deportes is also on Fox Sports World Canada and Fox Deportes no longer airs Argentine games. The only thing it airs that isn’t on Canadian TV is a few Mexican league games.

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