CBS Sports’ expanded coverage of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament this year in 1080i HD required the network to increase usage of Intelsat satellite transmission capacity by about 50 percent.
This year, the network presented 39 games in HDTV – a threefold increase over 2004. The tournament was carried over IA-5 and IA-6, two Intelsat satellites providing high-quality coverage of North America. CBS used 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 included 24 games from four of the eight first round sites.
For the sixth consecutive year, CBS Sports aired the two national semifinal games and the National Championship Game in HD. The telecast were 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.”