CBS’ expansion of the March Madness bracket breakdown to a two-hour Sunday show took a hit when the full lineup of games was leaked during the broadcast. Selection Show started at 5:30 ET and was criticized by some for taking what used to be revealed in a 30-minute program, then an hour, to a full two hours.
By 6:20 p.m., notes the New York Times and other sources, the full bracket was widely shared on Twitter. The Times said fans debated the surprise picks online, even before they were revealed on CBS.
“We go to great lengths to prevent the tournament field from being revealed early and the NCAA took its usual measures to prevent this from happening,” said the NCAA in a statement. “Unfortunately, and regrettably, the bracket was revealed prior to our broadcast partners having the opportunity to finish unveiling it. We take this matter seriously and we are looking into it.”
Ernie Johnson and Greg Gumbel hosted the show from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York, with analysis from Clark Kellogg, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Seth Davis and Doug Gottlieb.
CBS Sports and Turner Sports jointly carry all 67 games of the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, also known as March Madness. The “First Four” goes down on truTV March 15 and 16, while TBS has the semifinals April 2 and the final April 4.
All told, CBS and TBS have 21 games apiece, truTV has 13 and TNT has 12.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.