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Florida station creatively gets around NCAA Tournament highlight restrictions

Networks have been placing highlight restrictions on their events for years. By paying billions of dollars to exclusively televise an event, networks have imposed restrictions on their competition from airing their footage until a certain time.

The prime example is NBC and the Olympics where non-NBC stations and competing networks are not allowed to show highlights until the next day. Even NBC’s affiliates cannot show highlights that have been held for primetime until after the events have aired. NBC’s attorneys have been known to scout even the smallest markets for offenders.

Not to be outdone, CBS has also placed next day restrictions on the NCAA Tournament meaning ABC, Fox and NBC affiliates cannot show any game highlights until the following day.

On Saturday, the Florida Gators were in the South Regional Final in Memphis. Zach Aldridge of ABC station WCJB (TV-20) in Gainesville, FL had to tell his viewers what happened as he put it “without breaking the law and every other rule and regulation known to TV.” So he gave the TV-20 audience “the next best thing,” a recreation with himself and another staffer portraying Florida and two others playing the role of the Dayton Flyers.

By using one of the station’s offices and a Nerf backboard, you get the results which you can see below.

You have to hand it to Aldridge. It’s one of the most original ways this side of using stick drawings of recreating the event and getting around CBS’s restrictions.

[SB Nation]

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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