Gators to have their own Final Four Channel on TNT


CBS and Turner Sports are doing something a little different for the Final Four broadcasts this year. Each team will have their own localized broadcast team. TBS will have the national feed of the University of Florida vs. UConn set to tip from Cowboys Stadium Saturday night at around 6:06 p.m. ET with  Jim Nantz  calling the action with analysts Greg Anthony and Steve Kerr, along with reporter Tracy Wolfson.

But if you want to watch the broadcast with a more Florida friendly broadcast crew then tune in to TNT and you will have  Orlando Magic voice David Steele, who served as the play by play voice of the Gators prior to joining the NBA team in 1988. His partner will be Mark Wise, a 14-year veteran analyst for the Gator Basketball Network, and reporter James Bates, a former member of the Florida football team who played on four consecutive SEC title teams and a national championship team in 1996.

Over on truTV the UConn fans will see Eric Frede, a Connecticut native who covered the UConn men’s program this year as a studio host for CSN New England, will call the action on truTV.  Frede is also the current play-by-play commentator for SNY’s coverage of the UConn women’s basketball program.  Joining him courtside will be UConn standout Donny Marshall, a member of UConn Men’s Basketball All-Century Team who led the Huskies to the Elite Eight in 1995 while averaging 22.3 points per game. Marshall currently provides analysis for YES Network on the Brooklyn Nets.  Additionally, UConn legend Swin Cash – a two-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time WNBA champion and two time NCAA champion at Connecticut – will be the courtside reporter.

For the night cap Kentucky will be on TNT while Wisconsin will have their crew on truTV.

The Wildcats broadcast will feature play-by-play commentator Rob Bromley, a long-time Kentucky sports anchor who has handled play-by-play, sideline and color commentary for basketball and football on UKTV for more than 30 years, will team with former Kentucky star Rex Chapman as the analyst.  Chapman was a two-time All-SEC player at Kentucky and a 12-year NBA veteran. Dave Baker, a television play-by-play commentator for UK/IMG telecasts of the University of Kentucky basketball games and long-time sports anchor and reporter at WKYT, will serve as the reporter for the game.

Lastly, the Badgers will be able to enjoy Wayne Larrivee, who has called Wisconsin games on the Big Ten Network this season, will provide play-by-play commentary.  Larrivee is also the current radio voice of the Green Bay Packers.  Larrivee will be joined by former Badger Mike Kelley, who helped guide the team to the Final Four in 2000.

CBS and Turner Sports should be congratulated for giving fans a chance to hear broadcasts aimed at their fan bases. It is fun and creative as well as a very smart business play. One game three channels, plus the ads that is smart business.