List of National Invitation Tournament men's postseason broadcasters

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The following is an overview and list of the announcers and television networks to broadcast the National Invitation Basketball Tournament (or the NIT).

Early coverage by CBS[edit]

From 1966-1975,[1] CBS provided national television coverage for selected games from the National Invitation Tournament. Before 1975, the NCAA only allowed one team per conference to play in the NCAA tournament. Therefore, the NIT got many top teams and was considered somewhat comparable in quality to the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

In the early part of this era (circa 1966-1968), CBS carried one game on the opening Saturday and the championship game the following Saturday. By 1969, CBS moved their first round coverage from Saturday to Sunday to avoid conflicting with the NCAA tournament regional finals coverage on NBC. In the process, the NIT title game went head-to-head with the NCAA consolation game. The same would be true on both counts for the next three years.

In 1973, CBS expanded their NIT coverage to four games. The March 17 game (Notre Dame-USC) went up against an NCAA regional final on NBC. Meanwhile, the March 24 game (Notre Dame-North Carolina) went up against the first NCAA Final Four game.

In 1974, CBS covered went from covering four to covering five games in the NIT. The March 16 doubleheader (Md E Shore-Manhattan and Purdue-North Carolina) went up against the NCAA regional finals on NBC. Meanwhile, the March 23 doubleheader (Purdue-Jacksonville and Utah-Boston College) went head-to-head against the NCAA Final Four.

In 1975, CBS did not cover any NIT games on the first weekend, but did carry the semifinals and finals. The March 22 doubleheader (Providence-St John's and Princeton-Oregon) went head-to-head with the NCAA regional finals.

Date Network Play-by-play announcer Color analyst(s)
1966 CBS Tom Kelly Frank Gifford
1967[2] CBS Tom Kelly Frank Gifford
1968 CBS Don Criqui Hallie Bryant
1969 CBS Don Criqui Pat Summerall
1970 CBS Don Criqui Pat Summerall
1971 CBS Don Criqui Pat Summerall
1972 CBS Don Criqui Pat Summerall
1973 CBS Don Criqui Pat Summerall
1974 CBS Don Criqui Rod Hundley
1975 CBS Don Criqui Sonny Hill

ESPN's coverage[edit]

In 2007, ESPNU as well as ESPN2 aired the first-ever NIT Selection Show.[3] Also, ESPN Radio aired its first-ever coverage of the Selection Sunday.[4] Also that year, a then-record of more than 3.3 million brackets entered on ESPN.com suprassing the record set the previous year.[5] ESPN continues to provide television coverage of the tournament. The NIT has a 10-year, $24.1 million contract with ESPN; this compares with the 11-year, $6.2 billion TV contract with CBS for the NCAA tournament. During this time period, Ron Franklin (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (color commentary) have been ESPN's primary crew for the NIT Championship.

References[edit]

External links[edit]