HDNet To Carry College Basketball Tourney
After the NCAA selects its 65 teams, then the NIT and CBI can compete for schools, although the decades-old NIT with its games on ESPN, a final in Madison Square Garden and a larger 32-team field continues to have an advantage.
A representative for the Gazelle Group, a sports-marketing firm that conceived and runs the CBI, declined to offer details on the HDNet deal. He did say that ad sales would be handled jointly between the two.
HDNet--the all high-definition channel in 10 million homes--will carry 11 of the up to 17 CBI games, with the remainder not televised. The CBI is distinguished from the other two tournaments with its champion determined by a best-of-three final round. Last year, Tulsa won over Bradley, two games to one.
The event is a single elimination until the final; 2008 participants included Virginia from the ACC and Washington from the Pac-10. Like the NIT (until its final rounds), games are played at campus sites.
Other sports carried by HDNet include Major League Soccer and mixed martial arts. HDNet has carried some regular-season college events produced by the Princeton, N.J.-based Gazelle Group.