NCAA March Madness Selection Show Hopes For Higher Ratings On TBS

    In this digital age of full transparency and instant results and reaction, CBSs reluctance to air the The NCAA Selection Show live, instead choosing to run the results minutes after the selection process happened, didnt go over well on social media. Rating have slipped the past two years, which leads us to TBS taking over the Selection Show this year, the first time in 36 years that the show will not air on CBS. 

    Last year’s show fell to an all-time low of 4.883 million. This years Selection Show airs on TBS next Sunday at 6 p.m. ET as part of the NCAAs new Tournament rights deal with CBS and Turner that stipulates the network that carries the Final Four and Championship Game has the option to air the Selection Show. 

    It will return to CBS in 2019.

    Sports Illustrated on Twitter

    CBS changed course after a disastrous NCAA Selection Show two years ago. Will TBS do the same this time around? (by @richarddeitsch)

    Next Sundays show is scheduled for two hours and will air from Turner Studios in Atlanta. Greg Gumbel and Ernie Johnson will host the show, along with analysts Clark Kellogg, Charles Barkley, Seth Davis and Kenny Smith. All 68 teams and full brackets are expected to be unveiled over the first half of the show.

    With all of the new forms of communication and various ways to view The Selection Show and results, its lost viewers since 2014 and is down 31% since 2009 when it drew 7.079 million. There appears to be no changing that trend, especially this go round. 

     TBS is available in 91.5 million households, which works out to 76% of the country’s TV footprint; as a legacy broadcast network, CBS reaches just roughly 23 million more homes than TBS. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.