Mega March Madness

Mega March Madness was a pay-per-view out-of-market sports package covering games in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship which was exclusive to DirecTV from 2002 until 2010 and supplemented the coverage from CBS Sports. The charge for the package was a one-time $69 charge per year.


Viewers were able to watch games which did not air on their CBS affiliate, and Mega March Madness also had a multiplex channel allowing all four games to be framed on the same screen. Game coverage still used CBS coverage and announcers, though DirectTV promotional advertising replaced CBS station local breaks and the games were uninterrupted by in-game analysis or a cut-over to a more compelling game like was done on the main CBS broadcasts.

Decline and discontinuation

In many markets however, CBS also provided sub-feeds of games for affiliates to air on digital subchannels or secondary sister stations. Though these games featured regular advertising and analysis and were only aired in standard definition, it was regarded as duplicative and as the stations offered the coverage for free, Mega March Madness was among the lowest-subscribed DirectTV sports packages as many viewers utilized a secondary cable connection or antenna to receive the games without charge, although in latter years CBS only allowed stations coverage of one further game on a digital subchannel to protect the Mega March Madness package. Further development of streaming of all games over video on demand on the Internet cut further into the package's appeal.

After the 2010 tournament, Mega March Madness was discontinued, as the NCAA's new tournament deal with CBS and the networks of Turner Broadcasting System (TBS, TNT, and truTV),[1] called NCAA March Madness, facilitated national coverage of every game on a cable or broadcast channel without cut-aways or staggered scheduling, making the Mega March Madness package superfluous.[2]

External links


  1. ^ NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament Expands To 68 Teams; CBS Adds Turner To Television Team press release via TV by the Numbers
  2. ^ Turner Networks To Air 41 March Madness Tournament Games Multichannel News February 10, 2011
2003 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament

The 2003 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 65 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 18, 2003, and ended with the championship game on April 7 in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Superdome. A total of 64 games were played.

The Final Four consisted of Kansas, making their second straight appearance, Marquette, making their first appearance since they won the national championship in 1977, Syracuse, making their first appearance since 1996, and Texas, making their first appearance since 1947. Texas was the only top seed to advance to the Final Four; the other three (Arizona, Kentucky, and Oklahoma) advanced as far as the Elite Eight but fell.

Syracuse won their first national championship in three tries under Jim Boeheim, defeating Kansas 81–78 in what would be Roy Williams' final game as head coach of the team; he would depart to become the head coach at North Carolina, a position he still holds as of the 2018–2019 season.

Carmelo Anthony of Syracuse was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Syracuse beat four Big 12 teams on its way to the title: Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. Those victories helped earn Boeheim the national title that had eluded him in 1987 and 1996.

2007 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament

The 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 65 teams playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball as a culmination of the 2006–07 basketball season. Team selections were announced on March 11, 2007, and the tournament began on March 13, 2007, with the Opening round game and concluded with the championship game on April 2 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.Both of the finalists from the year before returned to the Final Four as Florida, who returned its entire starting lineup from the year before, and UCLA advanced. They were joined in the Final Four by Ohio State, who was making its first appearance since their 1999 appearance (later vacated), and Georgetown, appearing for the first time since their national runner-up finish in 1985.

Florida defeated Ohio State in the championship 84–75 to win their second consecutive championship. This marked the second time in 2007 that a Florida team beat an Ohio State team to win a national championship, as Florida's football team won the BCS National Championship Game over Ohio State in January. Florida's Corey Brewer was named the Most Outstanding Player. Florida became the first team to repeat since Duke in 1992. As of 2017, the 2007 Gators are the last team to repeat as national champions.

This tournament was significant because it had many fewer upsets than in previous years. There were only 12 games in which a lower-seeded team defeated a higher-seeded team, and eight of these "upsets" were by teams ranked only one seed lower than their opponent. No. 7-seed UNLV was the lowest-seeded team to make it to the Sweet Sixteen. This marked the second time since the tournament expanded to at least 64 teams that no team seeded No. 8 or lower played in the Sweet Sixteen; the other instance was in 1995. Southland Conference champion Texas A&M-Corpus Christi made their first NCAA appearance.

This was the first Tournament since 2003 that regional sites were designated as "East", "West", "South", and "Midwest", rather than by the names of the host cities.

2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament

The 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 65 schools playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball as a culmination of the 2007–08 basketball season. It began on March 18, 2008, and concluded on April 7 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

For the first time since seeding began, all four of the top seeds advanced to the Final Four. These were Memphis, the winner of the South region, UCLA, the winner of the West region making their third consecutive Final Four appearance, Kansas, the winner of the Midwest region, and overall number one seed and East region winner North Carolina, back in the Final Four for the first time since their 2005 national championship.Memphis and Kansas advanced to the national championship game, with Memphis's victory in the semifinals giving them a record-setting 38 for the season, beating the mark set by Duke in 1999 (Kentucky later matched this record in 2012 and 2015). Kansas, however, spoiled their national championship hopes by handing the Tigers their second loss of the season, winning the game in overtime, 75–68. Memphis's entire season was later vacated by the NCAA due to eligibility concerns surrounding freshman guard Derrick Rose.Entering the tournament on March 18, the top ranked team was North Carolina in both the AP Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Polls, followed by Memphis, UCLA and Kansas.

American University (Patriot), UMBC (America East), Texas–Arlington (Southland), and Portland State (Big Sky) all entered the tournament for the first time in their school's history. Another school, Coppin State won the MEAC Tournament to become the first 20-loss school ever to make the field. Georgia, a team that otherwise would not have advanced to the tournament, won the SEC tournament to qualify, and were awarded a #14 seed, the lowest-ever by a major conference team in the tournament.

Whereas the 2007 tournament did not see many upsets, the 2008 tournament was full of them. The sub-regional pod played at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida featured four games where a double digit seed won. #5 seeds Drake and Clemson fell to #12 seeds Western Kentucky and Villanova while the #4 seeds in that same pod, Vanderbilt and Connecticut, were defeated by #13 seeds Siena and San Diego. Western Kentucky advanced to the West regional in Phoenix, where they lost to UCLA while Villanova was one of two double digit seeds to advance to the Midwest regional. The other was #10 seed Davidson, who rode the hot shooting of Stephen Curry to defeat Gonzaga, Georgetown, and Wisconsin before nearly upsetting Kansas in the regional final. The Midwest region alone saw four of its double digit seeds advance, as in addition to Villanova, Siena, and Davidson #11 seed Kansas State knocked off #6 seed USC.

The total tournament attendance of 763,607 set a record for highest total tournament attendance, breaking the record set during the 1999 tournament.

2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament

The 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament was a single-elimination tournament involving 68 teams to determine the national champion of the 2010–11 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The 73rd edition of the NCAA Tournament began on March 15, 2011, and concluded with the championship game on April 4 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. This tournament marked the introduction of the "First Four" round and an expansion of the field of participants from 65 teams to 68. The "South" and "Midwest" regional games were replaced by the monikers "Southeast" and "Southwest" for this tournament, due to the geographical location of New Orleans and San Antonio, respectively.

The Final Four featured no top seeds for the first time since 2006, with the highest remaining seed being West Region winner, #3 Connecticut. For the first time since 2000, a #8 seed advanced to the Final Four as Butler, the national runner-up from the year before, won the Southeast Region. For only the third time ever, a #11 seed advanced to the Final Four as Virginia Commonwealth, one of the "First Four" teams, won the Southwest Region. Those three teams were joined by East Region champion Kentucky, a #4 seed.

Connecticut won its third national championship in the championship game by defeating Butler 53-41.

Upsets ruled the 2011 tournament. The East Region saw its #11 seed, Marquette, advance to the Sweet Sixteen where they were downed by North Carolina. The Southwest Region saw four of its double digit seeds win, as VCU was joined by #12 seed and citymate Richmond, #10 seed Florida State, and #13 seed Morehead State as first round winners. Florida State, VCU, and Richmond all advanced to the Sweet Sixteen from that region, and VCU defeated top-seeded Kansas in the final. Butler and #11 seed Gonzaga advanced from the Southeast Region, with Gonzaga losing in the Round of 32 to BYU.

For the third time in as many appearances, Vanderbilt suffered a defeat to a double digit seed. This time, they were defeated by Richmond as a #5 seed.

The Big East had a record eleven make the tournament (the conference then had 16 total teams). Due to having more than eight teams qualify, it was possible for intra-Big East matchups to occur in the third round. Two of these matchups did occur as Marquette defeated Syracuse in the East while Connecticut defeated Cincinnati in the West. The other Big East teams to qualify were Pittsburgh, who earned the #1 seed in the Southeast Region and were knocked out in the third round by Butler, St. John's, who were the Southeast's #6 seed and were eliminated in their first game by Gonzaga, Louisville, which earned the #4 seed in the Southwest and fell to Morehead State in their first game, Georgetown, who lost to VCU in the first round as a #6 in the Southwest, Notre Dame, the #2 seed in the Southwest who were eliminated by Florida State, Villanova, who were eliminated in an #8 vs #9 matchup against George Mason in the East Region, and West Virginia, the East's #5 seed who lost in the third round to Kentucky.

Northern Colorado, winners of the Big Sky Conference, made its first NCAA Division I tournament.

Audience (TV network)

Audience Network, also simply known as Audience since 2016, is an American pay television channel that is owned by DirecTV. It features a mix of original and acquired series, specials, and feature films. The network operates as a commercial-free service and broadcasts its programming without editing for content. It was originally exclusive to DirecTV. However, after AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV it became available on AT&T U-verse. It is also available on subscription streaming service DirecTV Now, and the upcoming lower budget AT&T Watch TV service. As of 2019, the channel has a subscription base of 26 million.

College Basketball on CBS

College Basketball on CBS (usually referred to on-air as the Road to the Final Four) is the branding used for broadcasts of men's NCAA Division I basketball games that are produced by CBS Sports, the sports division of the CBS television network in the United States.

From 1982 to 2015, CBS Sports obtained broadcast television rights to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship from NBC (which had been airing the game since 1969). Beginning in the 2016 season, TBS will hold the rights to broadcasting the NCAA Division I Championship in Men's Basketball in even-numbered years, while CBS will continue to air the game this time in odd-numbered years.

In addition, CBS currently holds broadcasting rights to conference regular season and tournament games, including the American Athletic Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 Conference, Big East Conference, Big Ten Conference and Southeastern Conference.


DirecTV is an American direct broadcast satellite service provider based in El Segundo, California and is a subsidiary of AT&T. Its satellite service, launched on June 17, 1994, transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States, Latin America, Americas and the Caribbean. Its primary competitors are Dish Network and cable television providers. On July 24, 2015, after receiving approval from the United States Federal Communications Commission and United States Department of Justice, AT&T acquired DirecTV in a transaction valued at $67.1 billion.As of Q1 2017, DirecTV U.S. had 21 million subscribers (26 million if combined with U-verse) and revenues of $12 billion.

On November 30, 2016, DirecTV Now, their internet streaming TV service, was launched.


ESPN PPV is the banner for pay-per-view events that ESPN broadcasts, including the out-of-market sports packages ESPN GamePlan (College Football, 150 extra games per year) and ESPN Full Court (College Basketball, 30 extra games per week), which merged in to ESPN College Extra in 2015 and possible Top Rank PPV fights from 2019. The network was originally launched in 1999 as ESPN Extra [1] and was renamed ESPN PPV in 2001 [2].

Most ESPN PPV games are also available on select regional sports networks and local broadcast stations as part of the ESPN Plus package and ESPN3.

In 21 April 2019, ESPN PPV aired the boxing fight between the American Terence Crawford and British Amir Khan for the WBO Welterweight title.

March Madness (disambiguation)

March Madness may refer to:

The main part of the breeding season of the European hare

NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, American college basketball

NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament, American college basketball

NCAA March Madness (TV program), the branding used for television coverage of the men's college basketball tournament

NCAA Basketball series (formerly March Madness series), an EA Sports college basketball video game series

Mega March Madness, a defunct pay-per-view television package covering the college basketball tournament, now replaced by NCAA March Madness

Illinois High School Boys Basketball Championship, a single elimination high school basketball tournament

March Mammal Madness, a March Madness style bracket pitting non-human mammals against each other instead of basketball teams

"March Madness", a 2015 song by American rapper Future


NASCAR Hot Pass was a sports television package available exclusively on DirecTV in the United States, in Canada on several providers and in South America and the Caribbean on DirecTV Latin America. It debuted at the 2007 Daytona 500, which aired on February 18 of that year. In 2007 and 2008, it was a pay-per-view subscription package. However, from 2009 to 2012, it was free for all DirecTV subscribers, and the features were noticeably downgraded. As of the 2013 season, DirecTV stopped offering the service when its sponsorship agreement with NASCAR was not renewed.

NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament

The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, also known and branded as NCAA March Madness, is a single-elimination tournament played each spring in the United States, currently featuring 64 college basketball teams from the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), to determine the national championship. The tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and was the idea of Ohio State coach Harold Olsen. Played mostly during March, it has become one of the most famous annual sporting events in the United States.The tournament teams include champions from 32 Division I conferences (which receive automatic bids), and 36 teams which are awarded at-large berths. These "at-large" teams are chosen by an NCAA selection committee, then announced in a nationally televised event on the Sunday preceding the "First Four" play-in games, currently held in Dayton, Ohio, and dubbed Selection Sunday. The 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single-elimination "bracket", which pre-determines, when a team wins a game, which team it will face next. Each team is "seeded", or ranked, within its region from 1 to 16. After the First Four, the tournament occurs during the course of three weekends, at pre-selected neutral sites across the United States. Teams, seeded by rank, proceed through a single-game elimination bracket beginning with a "first four" consisting of 8 low-seeded teams playing in 4 games for a position in the first round the Tuesday and Wednesday before the first round begins, a first round consisting of 64 teams playing in 32 games over the course of a week, the "Sweet Sixteen" and "Elite Eight" rounds the next week and weekend, respectively, and – for the last weekend of the tournament – the "Final Four" round. The Final Four is usually played during the first weekend of April. These four teams, one from each region (East, South, Midwest, and West), compete in a preselected location for the national championship.

The tournament has been at least partially televised since 1969. Currently, the games are broadcast by CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV under the trade-name NCAA March Madness. Since 2011, all games are available for viewing nationwide and internationally. As television coverage has grown, so too has the tournament's popularity. Currently, millions of Americans fill out a bracket, attempting to correctly predict the outcome of 63 games of the tournament (not including the First Four games).

With 11 national titles, UCLA has the record for the most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships; John Wooden coached UCLA to 10 of its 11 titles. The University of Kentucky (UK) is second, with eight national titles. The University of North Carolina is third, with six national titles, and Duke University and Indiana University are tied for fourth with five national titles. The University of Connecticut is sixth with four national titles. The University of Kansas (KU) & Villanova are tied for 7th with three national titles. Since 1985, when the tournament expanded to 64 teams, Duke has won five championships; North Carolina and UConn have each won four; Kentucky & Villanova have three; Kansas & Florida have two; and Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Louisville, Syracuse, UCLA, UNLV, and Virginia have one.

NCAA March Madness (TV program)

NCAA March Madness is the branding used for coverage of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament that is jointly produced by CBS Sports, the sports division of the CBS television network, and Turner Sports, the national sports division of WarnerMedia in the United States. Through the agreement between CBS and WarnerMedia, which began with the 2011 tournament, games are televised on CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV. CBS Sports Network has re-aired games from all networks.

Initially, CBS continued to provide coverage during most rounds, with the three WarnerMedia channels covering much of the early rounds up to the Sweet Sixteen. Starting in 2016, the regional finals, Final Four and national championship game began to alternate between CBS and TBS. TBS holds the rights to the final two rounds in even numbered years, with CBS getting the games in odd numbered years.This joint tournament coverage should be distinguished from CBS's regular-season coverage, which it produces independently through its sports division. None of WarnerMedia's outlets currently cover regular-season college basketball games. Games broadcast on all four networks use a variation of the longtime CBS College Basketball theme music.

Current broadcast partners
Secondary broadcast partners
Specialty broadcast partners
Former broadcast partners
General media
Commentators by network
Broadcasters by event
Occasional coverage
Defunct premium television services in the United States
Premium services
Adult premium
Subscription TV

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