Scott D. Pierce: CBS coverage a slam dunk

Published: Friday, March 28 2008 12:49 a.m. MDT

This comes as no surprise, given that CBS Sports has carried the NCAA men's basketball tournament for so long and done such a consistently fine job of it. But you had to sit back and be in awe on Sunday afternoon.

Even though there were multiple games going on at the same time, the CBS team managed to bounce from site to site so we could see Tennessee beat Butler in overtime, Memphis State hold off Mississippi State and Davidson upset Georgetown — and give those of us watching on TV the feeling that we were catching all of it.

Given how much trouble some networks have making us feel like we're seeing one game at a time, it really is nothing short of astonishing that CBS is able to do this.

WE'RE STARTING TO SEE some changes at CSTV — now renamed the CBS College Sports Network — and so far, so good.

Since CBS Sports has taken over management of the channel, it's looking, well, more professional. In everything from graphics to staffing to programming, the upgrades are obvious.

NO MORE CSTV: Officially, College Sports Television is no more. It's CBS College Sports Network, and the folks there have decided the abbreviation will be CBS C, complete with a space between the last two letters.

There are other cable networks that look like typographical errors. Like E! And, of course, The mtn.

WHEN THE MWC announced its deal with then-CSTV back in 2004, we were led to believe it would mean a lot more games on what is now the CBS College Sports Network than has actually turned out to be the case.

When the league unveiled the deal in August 2004, it promised that the number of national telecasts of football and basketball games would "quadruple" from what ESPN had provided.

The only way you could warp reality to make that true would be if you count games that are on The mtn., which was announced a month after the CSTV deal was unveiled. But, almost four years later, there's no way to warp reality enough to classify a game on The mtn. as a national telecast.

FAMOUS LAST WORDS: Checking back in the Deseret Morning News archives, I ran across a couple of interesting quotes from an August 2004 press conference that was covered by Dick Harmon.

MWC commissioner Craig Thompson promised that members need not fear less TV exposure on CSTV. "No, more kids will see us play than ever before. No, we're not giving up exposure. It will mean much more to every sport, especially football and basketball."

And then-CSTV executive Chris Bevilacqua said, "I'm confident ... when this begins, we will have the distribution, through a variety of platforms, to reach more people with more sports than anybody else."

Giggle.

RIGHT FOR ONCE: I also ran across this in a column written by, well, me that ran in September 2004:

Frankly, some of the big ideas expressed by league and network officials sound pretty pie-in-the-sky. I wouldn't be surprised if they manage to gain a spot (for The mtn.) on local cable systems in cities and states where MWC members are located by the time they launch in 2006; I'd be stunned if there's much interest in the rest of the country, let alone on the two satellite giants, DirecTV and Dish.

As it turned out, I was actually overestimating the ability to get The mtn. on local cable systems.


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS