CBS Sports’ expanded coverage of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament this year in 1080i HD has required the network to increase usage of Intelsat satellite transmission capacity by about 50 percent.
This year, the network is presenting 39 games in HDTV – a threefold increase over 2004. The tournament is being carried over IA-5 and IA-6, two Intelsat satellites providing high-quality coverage of North America. CBS is using the satellites for backhaul of the games as well as distribution nationwide.
CBS uses Intelsat to transmit broadcasts throughout the year, but its expanded HD coverage of March Madness required additional occasional use capacity to support its HD transmission needs.
The network’s HD coverage includes 24 games from four of the eight first round sites. All 12 Sweet 16 games from the four regional venues in Chicago; Albuquerque, NM; Austin, TX; and Syracuse, NY; will air in HD. In 2004, only one regional site broadcast HD games.
For the sixth consecutive year, CBS Sports will air the two national semifinal games and the National Championship Game in HD. The telecasts, which will be presented live by CBS Sports, will be unified productions produced in 1080i and downconverted for the CBS Television Network’s analog broadcast coverage.
For more information, read ”CBS Sports to more than triple HD coverage of NCAA tournament.”