The Sportmeisters Cheap Shot Of The Week: CBS Got The Best Of Me

The SportmeistersAnalyst IApril 2, 2009

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 29:  CBS broadcasters Jim Nantz (L) and Clark Kellogg (2nd R) interview head coach Roy Williams (2nd L) and Ty Lawson #5 (R) of the North Carolina Tar Heels after the Tar Heels defeated the Oklahoma Sooners during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional Final at the FedExForum on March 29, 2009 in Memphis, Tennessee. The Tar Heels defeated the Sooners 72-60 to advance to the Final Four.  (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

By Justin of The Sportmeisters

The Cheap Shot is a new weekly running feature where The Sportmeisters gripe about something in sports they can't stand. Today's feature is on CBS and their showing of March Madness.

Once again the time has come when pretty much every college basketball fan’s bracket is completely and utterly worthless due to the usual antics of March Madness. I have been eagerly watching every game of this year’s tournament, and I must say that I have been greatly satisfied with the fierce competition on display. However, I can no longer hide my frustration at the way CBS Sports shows the NCAA Tournament.

With my bracket hanging in the balance I too was guilty of yelling at the television to show the game that I desperately needed to see at that instant. For example, on one evening there were four games being covered simultaneously by CBS. Three of the games had less than one minute left before the end of regulation.

CBS could have done the smart thing for the viewers and maybe gone to a split screen or switching to one of the games that were coming down to the wire. Instead, it was more important that the game being shown was the one game that still had roughly seven minutes remaining.

While CBS did eventually switch to one of the other games, viewers missed precious seconds from the three other games. Listen, CBS knows when these games are being played, they set it up around their schedule! You are telling me nothing could have been done to avoid all these games ending at the exact same time? At least make it easier on the fans!

I know, I know, go ahead call me cheap because I did not purchase the package. I strongly considered doing so, but declined because most of my friends had buyer’s remorse after the season ended. I’m not one to learn lessons based off my wallet.

Yes, CBS does offer the ability to watch the games on your computer, but some people still have a job, and not every company will just let their employees watch streaming videos all day.

Furthermore, what about the struggling college students, rooting for their schools first bid in a long time, who could not go to the game for one reason or another? Should they be forced to pay extra to view the entire game by the monopoly of television? I don’t believe they should.

Let me go ahead and put my producer hat on, and explain how to adequately rectify my complaint about the tournament. Let’s have CBS show multiple games on multiple channels like ESPN does for the Women’s NCAA Tournament.

CBS had one channel that was named March Madness Tournament Central Channel. This channel continuously had pre and post game analysis of the games that day. While this was a good idea in theory, the execution of the set plan failed horribly, because neither I nor anyone else that I know, for that matter, ever looked at the Tournament Central Channel for more than a nanosecond. There are enough shows dedicated to the pre-game, the post-game, and the highlights in between.

Or better yet, and going back to my previous discussion, why not stagger the start times? I don’t mean in the ten minute intervals, but more like twenty minutes. Give one game a chance to go down to the wire and the focus be there, instead of constant switching between three games, losing seconds in between the whole time. That way, the whole world is watching the one game with thirty seconds left, while the three others in various stages have not put themselves in a position to be decided at that time.

Listen, I know that college athletics has turned into a business and money reigns supreme, but there has to be a better way for the common individual to view their game of choice without spending another hundred dollars for a sports package when cable companies are already charging an arm and a leg for regular cable.

If you don’t agree with me, fine. Maybe I’m completely off target with my frustration and need to learn to loosen up. Or maybe I got caught up in all of the hoopla and excitement that comes along with the NCAA tournament. Can you honestly blame me? With bragging rights and office pools on the line it is safe to say that March Madness may have gotten the best of me again, but CBS won’t anymore.