For the first time in the history of the NCAA Tournament, every game will be nationally televised. But there’s another addition to this year’s tournament coverage that has fans excited, Charles Barkley.
“First of all he has unmistakable charisma, I mean he just exudes charisma when you’re with him personally, he’s also a very nice man,” Mike Aresco, VP of CBS Sports programming, said on the Mully and Hanley Show when talking about Barkley. “He’s also an extremely intelligent guy, and the way he says things, he just has a knack for a certain phrase that resonates, that people will remember.
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“And look, he understands that it’s a college game, these are college kids, this isn’t the pros, in terms of criticism and that kind of thing. I think there will be analysis, I think they’ll point out certain things, obviously that’s what you have to do, you have to be critical up to a point. I think he understands that it’s a college game, but I also think they’ll have some fun…You’ll get something you probably didn’t get before.
With the addition of the Turner cable networks, the appearance and the way fans watch the games will be different as well.
“They’ll be a lot of studio [shows], we have a lot of staggers in the start times, we have wall-to-wall basketball, from [11AM to 11PM],” Aresco said. “That’s one of the real positives if this plan, is that there is more basketball for everybody. There’s going to be basketball Sunday night, which there wasn’t in the past.”