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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here in Atlanta our CBS station, WGCL, bought equipment about 5 years ago in order to multicast all 4 game feeds of the NCAA tournament. They setup sub channels on the OTA feed and also setup special channels w/ local cable companies. After the first weekend when games went down to 2 at a time max they increased back the bandwidth appropriately. They tweaked it each year, sometimes using the analog and digital as different feeds. Finally last year they went down to only 2 different feeds (HD and SD). There were references on this board that CBS Corporate might have forced most affiliates that if they did multicast, they had to only have 1 additional feed, as referenced here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1129280


In an email to our CBS station this year they responded saying they will not be multicasting any additional games this year. There reasoning was because they stated CBS switched games around too much. I wanted to get a national thread going to see whether other affiliates who had NCAA multicasts in the past would continue to have them this year. I have a hard time understanding the channel change excuse as legit since CBS has always bounced games around, and we've had tourney multicast for 5+ years with great results. Especially now that CBS has setup both flex and dedicated feeds. My thought is that there may be pressure from corporate, perhaps related to the Direct TV package, not to allow affiliates to multicast.


I know most people on this board hate subchannels and the impact on picture quality and I agree in all aspects except this one. Being able to see games rewards the viewer in this case IMO. I know I could switch to Direct TV, or hit the bars, but I'm curious if any cities who have done it before could chime in w/ their station's current plans. I would appreciate it. Thanks!
 

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It's a thing of the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H /forum/post/18290504


It's a thing of the past.

Thanks Ken. At least I can take comfort that its a national thing and not local. Any details on why?
 

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WRAL will be doing it this year according to an email I received from them a couple of weeks ago.


I agree when CBS switches game sit does compound things. Plus, since all teh gamesa re then SD, I still sub to Mega March Madness for the HD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mws192 /forum/post/18292260


Why give away those games for free if they can sell them to you?

https://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/conte..._march_madness

Because they have been for 5+ years in various markets around the US and Mega March Madness existed then? Also our local CBS affiliate probably doesn't see much of the contract money between Direct TV and CBS.


And if the post above mentioning WRAL is still doing it is true, then I wonder if other markets will continue.


Its easy to see why corporate CBS would mandate the affiliates cant multicast. I'm simply asking if thats truly the case nationally.
 

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Our local CBS affiliate, WHIO would multicast by using analog OTA/digital OTA. One year, for whatever reason, WHIO forgot to put in commericals for the digital OTA broadcast. Every timeout the feed from the particular venue would stay on. Probably not good for revenue, but for someone who loves the NCAA and can't stand commericals, it was great.
 

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It's going to be weird out on the west coast as it looks like very few teams from out here will be in the tourney (Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, whoever from the Pac 10, maybe San Diego State).


Unless a miracle occurs, it looks like the only team representing all of southern California may be the SDSU Aztecs - assuming they get in.


Wondering what games we'll get out here??
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisHman /forum/post/18292324


Because they have been for 5+ years in various markets around the US and Mega March Madness existed then? Also our local CBS affiliate probably doesn't see much of the contract money between Direct TV and CBS.


And if the post above mentioning WRAL is still doing it is true, then I wonder if other markets will continue.


Its easy to see why corporate CBS would mandate the affiliates cant multicast. I'm simply asking if thats truly the case nationally.

A number of CBS stations, including O&Os, have done the multicast over the years, but that was primarily because limited HD feeds were available. As more HD became available, the number of stations multicasting dropped dramatically. If I remember correctly, last year WRAL was the only station still multicasting, maybe one or two others.


There were rumors that CBS mandated affiliates did not multicast, due to the Mega March Madness deal with DirecTV, but those were never confirmed.


This year will be the first year that CBS will have full HD functionality for March Madness.


I'll ask my sources.
 

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Here in Phoenix, KPHO is doing two games at once. One HD (national) feed and the other an SD (dedicated) feed. I guess next week viewers can vote which games go on which feed.


Also keep in mind that CBS is showing all the games online in HD for free this year. Because DirecTV wont discount MMM to me more than just $15, I will plan on seeing the other 2 games online with my HTPC.
 

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I said this in the local ATL thread...if only they would contract with a network that could actually show ALL the games in full....Like Espn and it's partners....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragedogg69 /forum/post/18295392


Here in Phoenix, KPHO is doing two games at once. One HD (national) feed and the other an SD (dedicated) feed. I guess next week viewers can vote which games go on which feed.

This seems like the optimal and smartest way of doing it. Have a flex HD feed that bounces to the good games, and then a dedicated market feed SD so you can show a full secondary game. If they both happen to hit the same game for a few minutes, then so be it. The viewer is still rewarded. Its interesting that your local affiliate can access the dedicated feeds for multicasting. I wonder why our affiliate couldnt and used the bouncing around feeds as the reason for not doing it this year.
 

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Another poster in the Raleigh thread is confirming WRAL will do the multicast. On Cable, they even provide all 4 feeds in HD on special channels, even to QAM viewers evidently. Pretty sweet to get a $40 package for free. In fact, it is probably even better as they will not have to deal with the blacking out of feeds from MMM on DirecTV when they are on the local station.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDonoughDawg /forum/post/18296578


I said this in the local ATL thread...if only they would contract with a network that could actually show ALL the games in full....Like Espn and it's partners....

ESPN cannot do regional broadcasts in HD yet, as is my understanding. They need to fix/upgrade that before they go putting on the men's NCAA tournament. If you live in a home market for a women's NCAA tourney team, you'll notice the constant feed is only on the SD channel. Now one fix to that might be to say, put the constant feeds on the local ABC affiliate of the market.


Plus ESPN/cable cannot show all the games in HD like D* can, ESPN doesn't even distribute an HD PPV channel(the ones for Game Plan and Full Court).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak3883 /forum/post/18299817


ESPN cannot do regional broadcasts in HD yet, as is my understanding. They need to fix/upgrade that before they go putting on the men's NCAA tournament.

One would hope/assume that if ESPN ever did get the tournament they would split up the games between ESPN/ESPN2/ABC/ESPNU and have 4 dedicated channels, so no real regional coverage would be needed. That way you could watch in full every game if you wanted. But I fear a switch to ESPN knowing the NCAA would have to break their contract w/ CBS and open up the possibility of a 96 team field (which I personally would not want).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak3883 /forum/post/18299817


ESPN cannot do regional broadcasts in HD yet, as is my understanding. They need to fix/upgrade that before they go putting on the men's NCAA tournament. If you live in a home market for a women's NCAA tourney team, you'll notice the constant feed is only on the SD channel. Now one fix to that might be to say, put the constant feeds on the local ABC affiliate of the market.


Plus ESPN/cable cannot show all the games in HD like D* can, ESPN doesn't even distribute an HD PPV channel(the ones for Game Plan and Full Court).

Between ABC, Espn, and Espn2 and EspnU, all in HD...that's at elast 4 games right there that could be shown at the same time. That's at least 4 times what CBS can do right now.
 

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Or if the contract was for ESPNs only (probably more likely, considering ABC is doing very little college basketball now), they could possibly put a live game on ESPNNews. Sadly, I think what is more likely is they would upgrade their infrastructure to support multiple HD feeds, and then charge you $50 a pop to watch all the games on Full Court.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisHman /forum/post/18298157


This seems like the optimal and smartest way of doing it. Have a flex HD feed that bounces to the good games, and then a dedicated market feed SD so you can show a full secondary game. If they both happen to hit the same game for a few minutes, then so be it. The viewer is still rewarded. Its interesting that your local affiliate can access the dedicated feeds for multicasting. I wonder why our affiliate couldnt and used the bouncing around feeds as the reason for not doing it this year.

Well I was half correct. CBS or KPHO is deciding which game will be on 5-1, the flex HD feed. On Monday, viewers can vote to see which is the constant feed in SD on 5-2.


From their website :
Quote:
Register now and come back around midday Monday to pick which games you want CBS 5 to carry later this week on digital channel 5.2 during the first round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

And from their FAQ:
Quote:
Will I see the entire basketball game or will you be switching around to games?


We will broadcast CBS tournament coverage on channel 5.1. There will be a specific game assigned for each time period, but CBS will often cover highlights and dramatic moments from other games in the tournament. The games on channel 5.2 will be interrupted less often, but CBS may still occasionally break in briefly with coverage of other games.

What is the high definition schedule for March Madness?


All of the games we broadcast on channel 5.1 will be in high definition. Please go to the March Madness schedule on kpho.com for a complete schedule.

Are all the games in high definition?


No. The games on channel 5.1 will all be in high definition, the games on channel 5.2 will be in digital widescreen standard definition.

Why is the same game on all the channels?


If there are not enough games in progress to fill all the available channels then we will sometimes place one game on both channels. Games scheduled for the same time slot will actually have staggered start times, so at the beginning of the day one game will be on both channels, as each game starts it will appear on its assigned channel. When a game enters half time another game in progress will appear on that channel until the assigned game resumes play.

Why isn’t the scheduled game on 5.1?


Channel 5.1 is carrying full tournament coverage. If the game assigned to channel 5.1 becomes a “blow-out” CBS will switch that channel to a more competitive game. Channel 5.2 carries “constant” feeds of its games, meaning that CBS will stick with those games to conclusion with only occasional cut-ins for highlights from other games.


I am very excited that it will be SD widescreen on 5-2. This along with March Madness Online will make for a fun Weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thats a great setup. Especially w/ the second channel being in widescreen. Very envious.


Anyone else know of affiliates other than Phoenix or NC multicasting this year?
 

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KCTV in Kansas City has put their 5.2 subchannel on the air, showing a constant "NCAA Tournament 5.2 March 18-26" banner. Similar to the last two years, it appears to be an SD feed. The local cable companies will pick it up before the games start.


During the tournament, KCTV stays with games of the local teams from beginning to end on 5.1. 5.2 can be just about anything, although someone in the control booth seems to have an eye for games that get interesting.
 
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