Updated — truTV is now available in HD on both FiOS and Time Warner. A new deal between the NCAA, the CBS television network and three different cable channels means you may have to do a little hunting to find Syracuse University mens basketball on your television this year. Inside, where to find the games and what else is different this year.
First up, the games are airing on four different channels: CBS (locally, channel 5, WTVH-TV), TNT, TBS and truTV (formerly known as CourtTV). When #3 Syracuse enters the brackets to play #14 Indiana State — on Friday night at 9:57pm — the game will be on truTV.
See the chart below for channel numbers.
There are plenty of other changes — which may be good or bad, depending upon your point of view. John Kiesewetter, who covers TV/radio/media for the Cincinnati Enquirer, summarized the changes. Check out his article for the full list, but here are some highlights:
- Pro: Every game will air in its entirety. With four channels in use, there’s no need for CBS to dump out of a “slow” game (even though it may be a local favorite) to bring in a closer, more dramatic game. But that could turn out to be a con — if the SU game is a nailbiter but the CBS game is awful, we’re stuck with truTV in standard definition; there’s no hope of the game being “upgraded” to CBS in progress.
- Con: Local CBS stations don’t get any choice. We’ll bet WTVH would much rather air tonight’s SU game instead of #10 Georgia taking on #7 Washington. But Les Vann — who used to be the GM of WTVH, and is now the GM of Cincinnati’s CBS affiliate — tells Keisewetter there’s no choice. Every CBS station in the country will air the same game at the same time.
- Pro: Fans of local news on WTVH won’t have to worry: the schedule, so far, shows the last afternoon game on CBS will begin at 2:45pm, then nothing until 7:15pm. That’s designed so CBS affiliates can air their early evening newscasts. But for hardcore hoops fans, the three cable channels will continue to air games through news time.
The changes won’t last the entire tournament — once the field is whittled down to the Sweet 16, every single game will air on CBS.
Where to Find NCAA Tournament Action on TV
These are listings for Syracuse-area systems. Digital/HD channel numbers should be the same across the entire CNY region, but analog numbers may differ depending on where you live.
|Time Warner SD||Time Warner HD||FiOS SD||FiOS HD|
|TBS||17||822||52 / 1502||552|
|TNT||45||821||51 / 1501||551|
|truTV||52 / 91||884||183||683|
Where to Find NCAA Tournament Action on Radio
According to Robert H. Smith, Conference Network Manager for IMG College, the IMG College feed with hosts Matt Park and Matt Roe will be carried by flagship TK99 (WTKW), 96.9 WOUR in Utica, ESPN 1160 (WPIE) in Ithaca and WXHC-FM in Cortland. (Although we no longer cover Watertown radio, Smith notes SU coverage will also be carried on WNER and WTNY.) We appreciate Smith checking in and clearing things up, as we had incorrectly listed a few stations based on information posted by individual station websites.
- Full NCAA television broadcast schedule on CBSSports.com (includes all games on all 4 channels)
Thanks to the CNYTVNews.com reader who pointed out the changes for this year’s NCAA television coverage. We’re always interested in broadcasting-related news — send those tips to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Contact form.