CBS, Affils Agree to Share Ball


CBS and affiliates have struck a deal by which stations will pitch in to help pay for NCAA basketball rights. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources estimated the anticipated cash contribution at between $12 million and $15 million per year. CBS initially sought a collective $26 million per year.

For their part, sources said the stations wanted a variety of concessions from the network, including a cap on what they pay for CBS’s affiliate news feed, clarification of digital spectrum use, more local cut-ins in The Early Show and an extension of NFL exclusivity.

CBS said the deal included a "broad exchange of value" between the network and stations, including cash and sales inventory. The deal takes effect Dec. 31. CBS has an 11-year $6 billion sports rights deal with the NCAA.