March Madness Set To Return in 12th Year of CBS Sports-WBD Sports Partnership

Lead director Mark Grant will call cameras on his first Final Four and National Championship

March Madness returns next week and, for the 12th consecutive year, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament – from the First Four to the Final Four – will be produced via the unique joint partnership between CBS Sports and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports (formerly Turner Sports).

The big change entering this tournament is the introduction of Mark Grant as the new lead director on the package, which includes calling the shots on the Final Four National Semifinals and the National Championship Game. Grant succeeds legendary director Bob Fishman, who, last year, signed off after calling his 39th Final Four for CBS (and Turner Sports).

With the appointment, Grant is believed to become the first person-of-color to sit in the director’s chair of a televised major American sports championship.

“That fact is amazing,” says Sean McManus, Chairman of CBS Sports. “Mark is an incredibly talented basketball director and football director.”

Grant will be partnered up at the front bench with producer Mark Wolf. That tandem will be in the truck for all of the games called on-air by Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill, and Tracy Wolfson. 

This NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will also mark the final tourney for Nantz, the legendary announcer and Sports Broadcasting Hall of Famer. Nantz has been calling NCAA Tournament games for 36 years, and this event will be his 32nd Final Four and Championship Game as lead play-by-play announcer.

“This is an amazing partnership and a fantastic event,” Luis Silberwasser, Chairman and CEO of WBD Sports said during a virtual media event on Tuesday. “It captivates the entire country for a month and its really unique in the sports landscape. The combined resources of our two companies come together as one to produce the best experience for the fans. Our focus is really on the fan and giving that fan the best experience.”

Silberwasser took over Warner Bros. Discovery’s domestic sports portfolio last summer after serving as as President of Univision Television Networks Group. This will mark his first experience with the March Madness partnership. The company has worked side-by-side with CBS Sports on producing this event since 2011.

“There’s excellence that extends to all of the people who work behind the scenes,” added Silberwasser. “This is such a talented and professional team. I am excited to witness firsthand the level of detail and craft of how it all comes together.”

Here’s a breakdown of how many games will appear on each of the four linear networks included in the package:

  • CBS will broadcast 24 games, including the entire Final Four Senifinals and the National Championship. CBS will also carry multiple first round, second round, Sweet 16, and Elite 8 games
  • TBS will televise 18 games across the first round, second round, Sweet 16, and Elite 8 including the Elite 8
  • truTV will air 13 games, including the First Four and games in the first and second rounds
  • TNT has 12 games across just the first and second rounds

All games will, again, be available via live stream on the NCAA March Madness Live product. All 67 games of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship can be watched there with authentication.

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