You remember last year’s NCAA Tournament Selection Show on CBS, that elongated two-hour sojourn complete with Charles Barkley’s unsuccessful attempts to use a touchscreen. Well this year’s version has been cut by a half-hour meaning it will last a total of 90 minutes.

Last year’s show took over an hour and ten minutes to reveal the entire 68-team field. And because it took so long, the show suffered a Wikileaks-type breach when the field was leaked on Twitter. CBS promises to reveal the brackets quicker and much earlier this year.

CBS Sports head Sean McManus said during the CBS/Turner NCAA Tournament media day that the 90-minute show will lead to a tighter program that will be “crisper” and “better” for viewers. The show will run from 5:30-7 p.m. ET.

In 2016, CBS and Turner decided to double the time from its traditional one-hour length to two hours in hopes of increasing the drama and adding more time for interviews. But the show ended up being a trainwreck and the NCAA vowed that it would fix the issues that led to viewer complaints.

Greg Gumbel, Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis will be based at the CBS Broadcast Center in New York while Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny “The Jet” Smith will provide analysis from Turner Sports’ headquarters in Atlanta.

The idea to chop 30 minutes off this year’s show was met with approval by none other than the Chuckster:

“I think (the Selection Sunday Show) is only going to be better. Instead of just wasting time, you just get to the show. I mean, it doesn’t have to take two hours,” Barkley told Sporting News during a CBS-Turner press event here Tuesday. “Last year we got screwed by (the leaker) releasing the brackets. So that didn’t help. I think 90 minutes is fine, man. You don’t have to drag it out for two hours. That’s going to be good.”

CBS promises that the reveal of the brackets will occur in the first half of the program. Harold Bryant, executive producer and senior vice president of CBS Sports says this year’s Selection Show will give the viewers what they want:

“By revealing the brackets quicker, it’s going to leave us a good chunk of time on the back end to talk about the matchups and the bubble teams and the No. 1 seeds,” he said. “We just didn’t feel the two-hour block was needed. Once you get them out there, you can dive right in.”

It means that you’ll see the four regions unveiled in the first four blocks and the talk will be left for the rest of the program. Hopefully, the decision to streamline the Selection Show will lead to better television for all of us.

[The Sporting News]

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.

  • YouAreWrongAndDumb

    It’s still too long. This could take five minutes.

    • Shawn Diiorio

      it’s not about you, it’s about school waiting to find out if they are in or not, i like the way it plays out.

      Just the same 30 minutes is a good amount of time to reveal all the games.

      • PeteF3

        Agreed. There’s a happy medium to be had–I want *some* drama, just not too much. I like the idea that every school from #1 to #68 gets at least a brief moment of their own.

      • YouAreWrongAndDumb

        Of course “it’s about me.” I’m a viewer, AKA a customer, and if I don’t like what they’re offering, I’ll take my business elsewhere. It’s quite literally about me.

        • Shawn Diiorio

          I’ll believe it when you actually GTFO instead of bitching about doing it.

          • YouAreWrongAndDumb

            I haven’t watched the selection show in over a decade. So apparently I did GTFO, therefore believe it.

          • Shawn Diiorio

            Then you are not a viewer, so it’s not all about you then. Glad we cleared that up.

  • jrwskw

    Hope there’s a leaker again.

  • Regular Joe

    Whatever happened to the 30 minute sports show? Yeah, get off my lawn and all but 30 minutes would sum it up nicely

  • Stuie299

    The second studio from Atlanta is just so unnecessary. They literally add nothing to the broadcast.

    • Shawn Diiorio

      Many of Turner’s contributors live in the GA area and it’s easier to send them to Turner’s studios instead of wasting money to fly them to NY.

      • Stuie299

        No, I’m not talking about logistics. Having Charles and Kenny on the broadcast is like having you and me give bracket analysis, except worse. I might actually argue that between the two of us we’re more knowledgable about CBB than they are.

        • Shawn Diiorio

          How smart they are or not isn’t really why they are part of the coverage. For some reason, enough people are interested in them opening and closing their mouths while sounds come out. That is why they are there.

          • Stuie299

            No, they are their because CBS partners with Turner to broadcast the tournament. Because of this Turner feels the need to insert their brand into the selection show. Turners analysts are so bad in comparison that it makes them feel unnecessary.

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