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Carter Blackburn (born 1979) is an American sportscaster. He currently works for CBS Sports Network and has been with ESPN and ESPNU as play-by-play announcer on various telecasts. By age thirty-one, Blackburn had called the NFL on Fox, NCAA Basketball Tournaments on CBS, and college football on ABC. Blackburn called then-Penn State coach Joe Paterno’s record setting 409th win for ABC, Paterno’s last game as coach of the Nittany Lions.
Blackburn made his national broadcast television debut on CBS Sports with a Big Ten women's basketball game between Penn State and Michigan State in January, 2008. He later called two 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament games, working afternoon session games at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. He reprised that role in 2009. His broadcast partner was Jay Bilas.
Early life and education
Blackburn was born in Dallas, Texas, and grew up in Kerrville, in the Texas Hill Country near San Antonio. Blackburn began his broadcasting career at KERV/KRVL radio during his sophomore year at Tivy High School. By his junior year in high school, he was sports director for the radio station, doing morning drive-time reports on area high school sports and Texas college and pro teams as well as providing play-by-play for radio and TV for football, basketball, softball, and baseball.
He worked for International Sports Properties (ISP) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Fox Sports Net South from 2001 to 2003; among his assignments were games in what became the NBA Development League. He joined CBS College Sports (then known as CSTV) in 2003 when the channel launched. In September 2009 he began broadcasting for ESPN and ESPNU. He provides play-by-play for TV broadcasts of NCAA football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, and lacrosse. In 2011, Blackburn broadcast the 2008 Reebok Grand Prix where Usain Bolt set a new world record in the 100 meters with a time of 9.71. In 2011 Blackburn provided play-by-play for the World Series of Softball tournament in Oklahoma City, OK. In 2012, he replaced Joe Tessitore for the Friday Night Football package for ESPN and ESPN2.
According to an article in the Long Beach Press-Telegram (see below), Blackburn is the second-youngest announcer of an NCAA Tournament game, at least in CBS's run as the telecaster. Jim Nantz was the only one younger (26 years old in 1985).
He also called Little League Baseball games for ESPN.
- Bibel, Sara (August 4, 2014). "Carter Blackburn Named Lead Play-by-Play Announcer for CBS Sports Network". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved August 4, 2014.