Men's college basketball on television

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Men's college basketball on television includes the broadcasting of college basketball games, as well as pre- and post-game reports, analysis, and human-interest stories. Within the United States, the college version of basketball annually garners high television ratings.

Televising the games allows alumni to follow their alma mater's team, as well as competing schools and top-ranked schools nationally. Not all games are televised. Coverage is dependent on negotiations between the broadcaster and the college basketball conference or team. In general, major programs will be televised more often than smaller programs. The televised games may change from year-to-year depending on which teams are having a strong season, although some traditional rivalry games are broadcast each year. Major match-ups between top-ranked teams or major rivals are often broadcast nationally. Some games are traditionally associated with a specific event or holiday, and viewing the game itself can become a holiday tradition for fans.


College basketball was first televised during the "experimental" era of television's broadcasting history, when W2XBS broadcast a men's basketball doubleheader from Madison Square Garden in New York City on February 28, 1940. Fordham University and the University of Pittsburgh played in the first game, and New York University played Georgetown University in the second game.[1][2][3]

In 1968, the "Game of the Century", played between UCLA and Houston, was syndicated by the TVS Television Network, attracting a significant television audience. The game is widely cited as a catalyst for the explosion and expansion of the televised college basketball landscape.

Broadcast rights[edit]


In addition, some regional syndicators broadcast games on over the air television. Most notably, Raycom Sports and ESPN Plus syndicate their games to broadcast stations.

Raycom in the early 1990s paid ABC $1.8 million for six weeks of network airtime of 26 regional games. The format allowed Raycom to control the games and sell the advertising.[4]

Cable stations[edit]

Regional cable networks have long devoted coverage to one or two conferences. The Pac-12 and Big 12 have had deals with Fox Sports since 1996, which airs games on its regional family of networks.

In 2007, the Big Ten conference was the first to establish its own television network, the Big Ten Network. The Pac-12 Networks debuted in 2012.

The Big Ten has a similar regional network, with the Big Ten Network having made its debut in August 2007. Texas has their own deal which created the Longhorn Network in fall of 2011. While BYU has BYUtv, it is not a separate deal that created a regional sports network.


ESPN has been airing regular season games since 1980, ESPN2 since 1993, ESPNU since 2005, and to a lesser extent ESPN Classic will show fewer games per season.

College basketball has been a staple for nearly the whole history of ESPN. Scotty Connal, then-vice president of the all-sports network in Bristol, Conn., offered Dick Vitale a position, shortly after being fired from the Detroit Pistons. The coverage of college basketball and the early rounds of the NCAA Tournament increased both college basketball and ESPN's credibility.[5]

Current lineup[edit]

By home team


NCAA Tournament[edit]

In 1974, Brent Musburger started using the term March Madness when describing the tournament.[6]

In 1991, CBS received exclusive rights to the entire tournament for the first time. Previously, ESPN had aired early round games. Beginning in 2011, CBS shared the early tournament rounds with TBS, TNT, and TruTV. The Final Four will alternate between CBS and TBS starting in 2016.[7]


The ESPN family of networks currently air the NIT games.


AXS TV carries select games from the CBI.


Fox College Sports provides all games from the CiT on the FCS Broadband service, except for the championship which is shown live on FCS Pacific.


  1. Jim Nantz/Greg Anthony/Tracy Wolfson
  2. Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craig Sager
  3. Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery/Allie LaForce
  4. Kevin Harlan/Reggie Miller and Len Elmore/Rachel Nichols
  5. Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel/Lewis Johnson
  6. Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner/Kristine Leahy
  7. Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb/Jamie Maggio
  8. Andrew Catalon/Mike Gminski/Otis Livingston
  1. Dan Shulman/Jay Bilas/Shannon Spake (Saturday Primetime)
  2. Sean McDonough/Shane Battier/Allison Williams (ACC Monday)
  3. Brent Musburger/Fran Fraschilla/Holly Rowe (Big 12 Monday)
  4. Mike Tirico/Dan Dakich/Samantha Ponder (Big Ten Tuesday)
  5. Brad Nessler/Sean Farnham (SEC Tuesday)
  6. Dave Flemming/Miles Simon (Big 12 Tuesday)
  7. Bob Wischusen/LaPhonso Ellis (ACC Wednesday)
  8. Dave Pasch/Bill Walton (Pac-12 Wednesday and Thursday)
  9. Joe Tessitore/Sean Farnham (SEC Thursday)
  10. Mike Patrick/Len Elmore and Bob Knight (AAC Thursday)
  11. Bob Wischusen/Dan Dakich (Big Ten Saturday)
  12. Jon Sciambi/Fran Fraschilla (Big 12 Saturday)
  13. Dave O'Brien/Doris Burke (ACC Saturday)
  14. Mark Jones/Kara Lawson (SEC Saturday)
  15. Mike Patrick/Len Elmore or Seth Greenberg (AAC Saturday)
  16. Beth Mowins/Kara Lawson or Jon Crispin (WCC Saturday)
  17. Rich Hollenberg/Mark Adams/Len Elmore/Sean Farnham (MVC Saturday) Elmore joined Hollenberg and Adams on the Indiana State/Wichita State game January 18th
  18. Rece Davis/Dick Vitale (Big Ten Thursday)
  19. John Saunders or Mike Patrick or Mark Neely or Marc Kestecher/Dan Dakich or Tim Legler or Len Elmore or Bob Knight or Fran Fraschilla (Atlantic 10 Saturday)
  20. Kanoa Leahey/Fran Fraschilla (MWC Saturday)
  1. Tom Hart/Len Elmore (Tuesday ACC)
  2. Joe Davis/Dino Gaudio or Jimmy Dykes (Tuesday SEC)
  3. Jason Benetti/Tim Welsh (Wednesday ACC)
  4. Clay Matvick/Darrin Horn (Wednesday Big 12)
  5. Beth Mowins/Jon Crispin (Wednesday Pac-12)
  6. Roxy Bernstein/Jarron Collins/Corey Williams (Thursday WCC)
  7. Doug Sherman/Tim McCormick (Friday MAAC)
  8. Jim Barbar/Malcolm Huckaby (Friday Horizon)
  9. Adam Amin/Brooke Weisbrod (Saturday AAC)
  10. Tom Hart/Jon Sundvold (Saturday SEC)
  11. Anish Shroff/Tim Welsh (Saturday Big 12)
  12. Carter Blackburn/Jay Williams or Dino Gaudio/Allison Williams (Sunday ACC)
  13. Roxy Bernstein/Jarron Collins (Sunday Pac-12)
  1. Clay Matvick or Dave Baker or Dave Neal or Dave LaMont/Joe Dean, Kara Lawson, Barry Booker or Jon Sundvold (SEC Network)
  2. Dave Armstrong or Mitch Holthus, or Brad Sham/Reid Gettys, Stephen Howard or Rich Zvosec (Big 12 Network)
  3. Anish Shroff or Adam Amin/LaPhonso Ellis and Bob Wenzel (Big East Network)
  • FSN (2014-2015)
  1. Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson/Rebecca Haarlow (Pac-12)
  2. Barry Tompkins/Reggie Theus/Courtney Jones (Pac-12)
  3. Tim Brando/Mike Gminski/Jenn Hildreth (ACC)
  4. Ron Thulin/Dan Bonner/Debbie Antonelli (ACC)
  5. Bob Rathbun/Larry Conley (SEC)
  6. Rich Waltz/Mark Wise (SEC)
  1. Steve Martin/Dan Bonner
  2. Tim Brando/Mike Gminski
  3. Tim Brant/Cory Alexander
  1. Kevin Calabro/Don MacLean
  2. Ted Robinson/Ernie Kent
  3. Roxy Bernstein/Lenny Wilkens
  4. JB Long/Detlef Schrempf
  5. Rich Cellini/Brevin Knight
  6. Mark Rogondino/Lamar Hurd
  7. Paul Sunderland/Dan Belluomini
  8. Jim Watson/Joe Cravens
  1. Steve Schlager/Blaine Fowler (MWC)
  2. Paul Burmeister/Stan Van Gundy (MWC)
  3. Dave Strader/Dave Kaplan (Atlantic 10)
  4. Todd Harris/Ronny Thompson (CAA)
  5. Randy Moss/Dalen Cluff (Ivy League)
  1. Dave McCann or Spencer Linton/Blaine Fowler or David Nixon/Spencer Linton (BYU and WCC Tournament)
  2. Lad Panis/Dave Porter (BYU-Hawaii)

Famous calls or catchphrases[edit]


External links[edit]