Wednesday New York Times headline:
CBS Considered Paying ESPN to Take Tourney
An extraordinary idea was broached last fall when CBS was trying to shave the huge losses it anticipated over the remaining years of its contract to televise the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament.
CBS talked with ESPN about paying it to take the 2010 to 2013 tournaments off its hands . . .
Why? The Times again:
Central to CBS’s interest in paying ESPN to take over the tournament was what it owed the N.C.A.A. for the last three years of the $6 billion deal that started in 2003. CBS was obligated to pay $657 million in 2011, $710 million in 2012 and $765 million in 2013. Losses could have been at least $200 million a year.
ESPN, however, didn’t play (basket)ball. So CBS wound up shopping The Big Dance® to TBS, as the Times reported.
Instead of making a deal with ESPN, CBS decided it would be more profitable to share the tournament with Turner Sports and agreed last month to pay $10.8 billion from 2011 to 2024 under that arrangement.
Only question is: Will TBS=Totally Been Suckered?