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CBS, Turner to Pay Technicians and Freelancers Set to Work the NCAA March Madness Tournament (Report)

March Madness
March 17, 2016 - Spokane, WA: A game ball with the NCAA tournament logo in the background, one day prior to the start of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament games at the Spokane Arena. - Image (Al Sermeno Photography / Shutterstock.com)

Despite the Coronavirus hiatus, CBS and Turner will reportedly pay all technicians and freelancers scheduled to work the NCAA tournament.

CBS Sports and Turner sports invested a lot of time and money setting things up for the NCAA March Madness tournament. On Monday, news broke from Sports Video Group the networks would be paying “all technicians and utilities – including freelancers – who were scheduled to work the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Final Four Weekend, and the Division II and Division III National Championship Games.”

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers director of broadcasting and telecommunications Robert Prunn shared the news and thanked CBS and Turner for their efforts.

“The IBEW extends its sincerest thanks to CBS Sports for this incredible gesture towards our freelance members,” said Prunn. ” We especially would like to recognize the efforts of [CBS Sports Executive Vice President, Operations and Engineering] Patty Power who, from early on, was communicating with us, understood the gravity of the impact on our members, and together with the CBS Sports executive leadership team, worked hard to make this happen.”

While details surrounding the deal have not been released, this is something CBS and Turner did not have to do. As a result, they should be praised for doing something outside of their contract. There has been a lot of attention paid to entertainment companies and how they would be compensating freelancers, crew members, and other staff working on such productions. But, on the collegiate side of sports, the broadcasters scheduled for extensive work over several weeks could easily be overlooked, and CBS/Turner did the right thing but not letting those men and women go unnoticed.

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