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Turner wins digital rights to NCAA championships

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INDIANAPOLIS » Turner Sports and the NCAA announced a 14-year digital rights deal yesterday that includes management of NCAA.com, the primary website for all 88 NCAA tournaments and other services.

"The long-term television world is going to change, and we think everything is, eventually, going to be interconnected," said Lenny Daniels, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Turner Sports.

Financial terms were not immediately disclosed.

In April, Turner and CBS announced they were teaming up as broadcast partners for the NCAA’s marquee event, the men’s basketball tournament, winning a bidding war with a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal that means each game will be broadcast live for the first time. The NCAA will get an additional $740 million a year, on average, from that deal.

But Turner Sports could be the big winner.

Beginning this season, Turner will carry games on three of its cable channels (TBS, TNT and truTV), will begin alternating title game broadcasts with CBS in 2016 and now holds digital rights to all NCAA championships.

Daniels said Turner Sports is researching what Internet users want to see. He’s already committed to adding more live coverage and more highlights from championship events.

 

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