WASHINGTON—Even though the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, more affectionately known as March Madness, was cancelled because of coronavirus (COVID-19), CBS Sports and Turner Sports have committed to paying the contracted technicians, utilities and freelancers that were set to work the tournament, according to reports.
Initially reported by Sports Video Group, the news was shared through an email from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW said it was not able to share internal emails with TV Technology). SVG also said that it received confirmation from CBS Sports and Turner Sports.
The email detailed that CBS Sports would pay “straight-time hours” for when individuals were contracted to work, and that they would be paid over the next few weeks as originally intended had the tournament gone on. Corresponding benefit contributions will also be made to flex plans and entertainment industry 401K plans, per the email.
The range of those being paid will include any professional or freelancer who was scheduled to work the NCAA Tournament, the Final Four and Division II and Division III national championship games. It will also extend to those who were contracted (professional and freelancers) working in the broadcast centers’ studios, edit rooms and coordination rooms.
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