Charles Barkley Rips Billy Packer for NCAA Tournament Coverage Comments

Way back in February, former CBS college basketball analyst Billy Packer made some choice comments about the CBS-Turner NCAA Tournament broadcasting setup.

From USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand:

ESPN would be better, he says, partly because it has announcers doing college games all season. He likens using NBA announcers to when he used to turn down requests to work NBA action by saying, ” ‘I’m not qualified, it’s a different sport.’ ” This, he says, is like CBS’ Verne Lundquist calling SEC football all year “and then having somebody who just did the pros come in to call the SEC title game.” And, he says, ESPN would have better NCAA promotion: “I don’t believe I was in a promo for CBS college basketball in 25 years.”

Packer says he likes watching truTV, one of the Turner channels carrying NCAA games. “And people who watch it aren’t going to be happy they’re missing their cops and robbers shows. If truTV viewers liked basketball, they’d already be watching ESPN.”

But with CBS’ old regionalized coverage now gone, isn’t it good for viewers who want to see a specific NCAA game to not have to worry about missing it because they’re in the wrong local TV market? “What percentage of the total audience does that represent,” says Packer. “Has all this been changed for the .01% of viewers who really want a specific game?”

And viewers, warns Packer, will miss the old system of being switched to the hottest action. Recalling working regional sites where “none of the games were really good,” he says the old way “enabled the product to never have to show them (widely) by going to exciting buzzer-beaters instead.”

Charles Barkley has some comments of his own in response to Packer. Barkley is, of course, the NBA analyst on Turner’s TNT. He is just such a funny man. Here are his halftime comments from the March 10th Knicks vs. Mavericks game:


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