CBS Sports and ESPN are said to be close to a deal that would -- in the event
of war with Iraq -- shift the bulk of NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament coverage
to the cable network.
The games would still be CBS productions with CBS advertising, but the shift
would only happen if war coverage pre-empted CBS' own airwaves.
"It looks likely that we will work out a deal with ESPN," a CBS Sports
spokersperson said Friday.
ESPN would have to work out technical difficulties and programming conflicts,
ESPN is pursuing conversations, a spokesman said, "for the sole purpose of
serving sports fans in what could be difficult and unique circumstances."