In perhaps the least surprising bit of news of the day, Billy Packer does not endorse the new NCAA Tournament broadcast setup. You can see the schedule for yourself here. It’s slightly confusing, but to basically sum it up, all games will now be broadcast on one of 4 channels (CBS, TNT, TBS, truTV) at a more spaced out time to avoid multiple games ending at once. As someone who has rocked the combo TV/streaming computer option the last couple of years to absorb as much of the greatest tournament (and theme song) in the world as possible, this new setup sounds fantastic. Now that I know that Packer doesn’t like it, I’m now more sure then ever that I’ll enjoy it.
One of Packer’s other beefs from the article about the revamped tourney deals with the inclusion of NBA broadcasters calling NCAA action. This I can understand. It will be interesting having guys that have largely been absent from calling NCAA basketball in their careers call what will be at the time the most pivotal games of these teams’ season. My hesitation to endorse this move was lessened when I heard that quality announcers like Marv Albert and Steve Kerr were the ones slotted to call the action and not those of Reggie Miller’s ability. Plus, the addition of the always excellent TNT studio team can only be a good thing . Seriously, as long as we aren’t subjected to Packer again, I think all college basketball fans will be all right with this.
Easily the highlight of the article to me is Packer insisting that fans of truTV will be upset that their “cops and robbers” shows will be not shown because of the NCAA Tournament. Considering I had never heard of the channel before this deal, I decided now might be a good time to see what kind of content they show. At 8:30 PM on Thursday night, truTV is in midst of a World’s Dumbest Criminals marathon. So, yeah, I think offering coverage of one of the most watched sporting events of the year might increase their ratings approximately a brazillion % over what would likely have been shown. Plus, truTV coverage only consists of the opening weekend of the tournament. So, loyal fans of truTV will be able to enjoy their shows the other 360 days of the year.
Packer even has one last curmudgeonly “back in my day” comment insisting that the level of play has regressed over the years. I don’t really have an opinion on that, but I can definitely say that my enjoyment level of Final Four Announcing is at an all-time high since Clark Kellogg replaced Packer.
Let’s hope the article is right and that Packer really does not have any interest in calling NCAA Basketball anytime soon. Hopefully this allows him to invest more time in one of his hobbies, solving murder cases.