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CBS Sports Acquires Rights to A-10 Championship Game

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 2:21 PM, under , , , ,

Athens, GA (Nov 25, 2008) - CBS Sports has announced the acquisition to the broadcast rights to the Atlantic 10 Conference Men's College Basketball Championship game, through an agreement with ESPN Regional Television. The multi-year agreement begins with the 2010 Atlantic 10 Conference Championship.

What the news from CBS does not say is that this game appears this game is a replacement for the SEC Championship game, which is heading over to ESPN in 2010 as part of the newly negotiated SEC package with ESPN.

"We are delighted to welcome the Atlantic 10 to the outstanding CBS Sports collection of championship games," said Mike Aresco, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports (pictured right). "The conference has a long tradition of excellence and now our viewers will be able to see the game that sends the winner to the NCAA Championship."

“It is an honor to be partners with CBS Sports,” states Bernadette McGlade, commissioner of the Atlantic 10 (pictured left). “This is a tremendous opportunity for the league to showcase our institutions, coaches, and student-athletes during the height of March Madness.”

The Atlantic 10 also announced a new format for the men's basketball championship to coincide with the 2010 title game being moved to Sunday on CBS Sports. The new format will continue to see the top 12 teams participate with seeds 1 through 4 receiving an opening round bye; however, the four opening round games will move to the campuses of the higher remaining seeded teams. Winners of each game will advance to the quarterfinals at a site scheduled to be announced later this winter for 2010 and beyond.

"Allowing four institutions to host an opening round championship game will generate enthusiasm throughout the footprint of the Atlantic 10," says McGlade. "This hybrid format presents the best of all worlds: allowing teams to host mid-week opening round games, which are always an attendance challenge, and subsequently advancing all to a common championship site on a traditional weekend schedule of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It has the potential to benefit the teams, the fans, the media opportunities, and the overall excitement surrounding the event."

The 2010 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship will begin on Tuesday, March 9, with opening round play and will continue on Friday, March 12 with four quarterfinal round games. The semifinals will be played the afternoon of Saturday, March 13. The championship game will be broadcast live on Sunday, March 14, 2010 (1:00-3:30 PM, ET) on the CBS Television Network, with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.

Mike Aresco Photograph Courtesy of CBS Sports.
Bernadette McGlade Photograph Courtesy of the Atlantic 10 Conference.

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