The Basketball Tournament Secures Television Deal With ESPN
The Basketball Tournament (TBT), the single-elimination, winner-take-all, open-application tournament launched in 2014, has reached a television deal with ESPN for 2015, which will see the tournament spread nationally and the field expand to 96 teams.Opening rounds begin July 10-12 at regional sites in Los Angeles and Atlanta and continue July 17-19 in Chicago and Philadelphia. Play continues on Thursday, July 23, when defending champion Notre Dame Fighting Alumni meet the lower seeded Chicago entrant in the opening game of the Super 17 live from Chicago and televised on ESPNU. Play continues the following day on Friday, July 24, from Chicago, with the Round of 16, which TBT will live stream.
ESPNU will then carry all four Quarterfinal games on Saturday July 25, marathon coverage, live from Chicago. Whoever makes it out of Chicago will then travel to New York City for the semifinals on Saturday, August 1, carried live on ESPN. The next day, Sunday, August 2, the two finalists will play in the winner-take-all, $1 Million Championship Game, at 3pm ET on ESPN. In 2015, up to 96 teams plus defending champion Notre Dame Fighting Alumni will play for a grand prize of $1 Million, doubling last year’s prize of $500,000.
“With an intriguing concept and regional events in several top U.S. cities, The Basketball Tournament is sure to attract sponsors and advertisers,” says Ed Erhardt, President of ESPN Global Customer Marketing.