The NCAA announced Thursday that it has signed a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal with CBS and Turner Broadcasting.
The deal signals several changes to coverage of the annual college basketball tournament. Next year will mark the tournament's basic-cable debut, as well as the first year every game will be broadcast live. March Madness will also be expanded from 65 teams to 68 teams — not the reported expansion to 96 games, which drew widespread criticism for being too inclusive.
"It was a goal from the very, very beginning. I believe it's what our membership wanted, and it's what our fans wanted across the country," NCAA interim President Jim Isch said. "I think without question, it was one of the driving factors in our position and why CBS and Turner make such great partners."
The new deal will keep CBS the home of March Madness through at least 2024. The games will be broadcast on CBS and Turner's TBS, TNT and truTV.
"We're excited this agreement continues our long-standing relationship with CBS, a partner company that has captured the unique spirit of the collegiate model of athletics, and brings a new partner in Turner Broadcasting to the championship and NCAA basketball," Isch said.
CBS has broadcast the men's college basketball championship every year since 1982. Earlier this month, the championship game between Duke and Butler attracted more than 23 million viewers.