March Madness Schedule: Friday March 18

Here is the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, i.e. March Madness, schedule for Friday March 18. First (or second) round coverage continues today on TSN, TSN2 and CBS. Here is the CBS broadcast schedule

12:00pm – Texas vs. Oakland
2:30pm – Arizona vs. Memphis
7:00pm – North Carolina vs. Long Island
9:30pm – Washington vs. Georgia

And here are the games I expect TSN will feature, based on trends from yesterday.

12:00pm – Texas vs. Oakland
2:00pm – George Mason vs. Villanova
4:00pm – Texas A&M vs. Florida State
9:45pm – Georgetown vs. Virginia Commonwealth

and on TSN2

12:30pm – Michigan vs. Tennessee
followed by – Notre Dame vs. Akron (JIP)
followed by – Duke vs. Hampton (JIP)
followed by – Ohio State vs. UTSA (JIP)
6:45pm – Kansas vs. Boston University (Bonus coverage to fill gap)
7:15pm – Xavier vs. Marquette
9:15pm – UNLV vs. Illinois

Considering the amount of 1, 2 and 3 seeds playing in the late afternoon, I think TSN2 will just courtsurf between the end of Michigan-Tennessee and the start of Xavier-Marquette. While TSN will take the 3 interesting afternoon games and the best game that starts after their NHL broadcast is scheduled to end.

By the way, an early look at Saturday’s schedule of the Round 0f 32 is shaping up like this

12:00pm – West Virginia vs. Kentucky – CBS, TSN
2:30pm – Florida vs. UCLA – CBS, TSN
5:00pm – Morehead State vs. Richmond – CBS, TSN2 (Bonus coverage to fill gap on TSN2)
6:00pm – San Diego State vs. Temple – TSN2
7:30pm – Gonzaga vs. Brigham Young – CBS
8:30pm – Wisconsin vs. Kansas State – TSN2
10:00pm – Connecticut vs. Cincinnati – TSN (JIP)

March Madness Schedule: Thursday March 16

It is almost time for the Madness. In less than 12 hours from now one of the most exciting sports events kicks off in Tampa, Florida as West Virginia takes on Clemson. Here is how coverage is looking for day #1. The timeslots will work like this

CBS: 12-5pm ET and 7pm-midnight ET
TSN: 12-6:30pm ET and 7pm-midnight ET
TSN2: 12:30-6pm ET and 6pm-midnight ET

CBS will be restricted to showing live coverage of their feature games only because the Turner networks have rights to the rest. TSN and TSN2 will be showing the most competitive games. All we know for now is that TSN will start off with West Virginia-Clemson and TSN2 will start off with Butler-Old Dominion. Here is the broadcast schedule

12:00pm – West Virginia vs. Clemson – CBS
2:30pm – Kentucky vs. Princeton – CBS
7:00pm – Brigham Young vs. Wofford – CBS
9:30pm – St. Johns vs. Gonzaga – CBS

NCAA Second Round

TSN has yet to make an announcement about how they will do their coverage of the early rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, but if they choose feature games, I’d go with these.

Thursday March 17
12:00pm – West Virginia vs. Clemson/UAB – TSN (CBS feed)
12:30pm – Butler vs. Old Dominion – TSN2 (TruTV feed)
2:00pm – Temple vs. Penn State – TSN (TNT feed)
3:00pm – Pittsburgh vs. UTSA/Alabama State – TSN2 (TruTV feed)
4:00pm – Vanderbilt vs. Richmond – TSN (TBS feed)
5:00pm – San Diego State vs. Northern Colorado –  TSN2 (TNT feed) – JIP
6:45pm – Florida vs. UC-Santa Barbara – TSN2 (TBS feed)
7:15pm – Connecticut vs. Bucknell – TSN (TNT feed)
9:15pm – UCLA vs. Michigan State – TSN2 (TBS feed)
9:45pm – Cincinnati vs. Missouri – TSN (TNT feed)

Friday March 18
12:00pm – Texas vs. Oakland – TSN (CBS feed)
12:30pm – Michigan vs. Tennessee – TSN2 (TruTV feed)
2:00pm – George Mason vs. Villanova – TSN (TNT feed)
3:00pm – Duke vs. Hampton – TSN2 (TruTV feed)
4:00pm – Texas A&M vs. Florida State – TSN (TBS feed)
5:00pm – Ohio State vs. UNC-Ashville/UALR – TSN2 (TNT feed) – JIP
6:45pm – Kansas vs. Boston University – TSN2 (TBS feed)
9:15pm – UNLV vs. Illinois – TSN2 (TBS feed)
9:45pm – Georgetown vs. USC/VCU – TSN (TNT feed)

And for the third round round

Saturday March 19
12:00pm on TSN (CBS feed)
2:30pm on TSN (CBS feed)
6:00pm on TSN2 (TNT feed)
8:00pm on TSN2 (TNT feed)
10:00pm on TSN (TBS feed) – JIP

Sunday March 20
3:00pm on TSN2 (CBS feed) – JIP
6:00pm on TSN2 (TNT feed)
8:00pm on TSN2 (TNT feed)
9:30pm on TSN2 (TBS feed)

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

Continue reading

Sports on TV: Week in Review

Sorry everyone, I just haven’t had the time to post what I’ve wanted to post over the past ten days. So, here is everything I have wanted to write over the past ten days.

  • ESPN’s coverage of the BCS football games was great. A lot of people like to complain about ESPN, but I think most can agree that they do a great job at college football. They gave the games a big game feel, without overhyping them (during the broadcast at least, I’m sure they were overhyped on SportsCenter).
  • TSN does get credit for airing all five games between the main network and TSN2; however, they decided that going to SportsCentre at 12:20 was more important than sticking around for the the BCS trophy presentation. This would be like not showing the Stanley Cup, Grey Cup, Super Bowl, World Series or World Cup trophy presentation. Everyone knows that I usually think TSN does a great job at almost everything, but they simply screwed this up. It is unacceptable.
  • Setanta Sports picked up the Setanta Ireland feed for three FA Cup games last weekend. They deserve credit for this because it resulted in Canadian viewers getting pre and post game studio coverage for these three games. I think that many agree that it would be nice if Setanta picked up the Setanta Ireland feed for the Saturday 10am ET Premier League games.
  • I haven’t  really taken the time to talk about TSN’s coverage of the World Juniors. As usual I thought it was great; overhyped, but great. Gord Miller does his best work at the World Juniors and I believe that Pierre McGuire is the best hockey analyst around. Ryan Rishaug has really grown as a rinkside reporter over the past year covering big events like the World Juniors (in 2010 and 2011) and hockey at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. TSN’s new scorebar looks like a square version of CTV’s Olympic hockey scorebar, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago. TSN has yet to bring this graphic into their NHL broadcasts, so I’m still betting that we see a completely new TSN graphics package in April.
  • The Australian Open begins tomorrow on TSN2, with overnight and early morning coverage every day over the next two weeks on TSN and TSN2. TSN will once again be picking up ESPN’s coverage, and it is expected that ESPN will introduce a new tennis graphics package for this tournament, to fall in line with their football, basketball and baseball graphics.
  • TSN2 is airing NCAA hoops games every Saturday afternoon again this season. Conferences highlighted include the Big East, ACC and Big 12 on most Saturdays. They had a doubleheader last week, will have a singleheader today and a tripleheader next week. There should be 2-3 games every Saturday on TSN2.
  • Sportsnet is also airing CHL games again this season, culminating with the Memorial Cup in May. There is just something about all Sportsnet broadcasts, including the Memorial Cup, that makes them seem unimportant. This is especially true of regular season CHL games where games are produced in 4:3 SD. I understand that there aren’t enough HD trucks in Canada to cover all NHL teams, the Raptors and the CHL, but there is no excuse to not produce coverage in 16:9 SD at least. I’m trying to remember the last time that I saw any TSN produced (or US produced) coverage in 4:3.

New Year’s Sports Ratings

Tuesday 1/4, Red Wings @ Oilers on TSN: 517, 000

World Juniors
Sunday 1/2, Canada vs. Switzerland on TSN: 3.1 million
Monday 1/3, Sweden vs. Russia on TSN: 1.25 million
Monday 1/3, Canada vs. USA on TSN: 6.03 million
Wednesday 1/5, USA vs. Sweden on TSN: ~1 million
Wednesday 1/5, Canada vs. Russia on TSN: 6.23 million

Unfortunately I still haven’t came across numbers for the Winter Classic on CBC or last weekend’s NFL playoff games on CTV. If anyone has, let me know.