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2258 days ago,
('Video from Princeton University Archives www.princeton.edu ) 'Princeton-Georgetown changed the way people watched the NCAA tournament. They weren’t just watching their team. They were looking for the upset. “Without that game, would people have been all that upset if some of the lower conferences lost their bids? The tournament would not have grown into what it is without Princeton-Georgetown' sports Illustrated article by Sean Gregory and Alexander Wolff: The Princeton-Georgetown game drew a huge rating that helped convince CBS executives that their network, not a cable outfit that reached barely half of U.S. homes, should air the first-round games at the heart of so much of the event’s charm. By the end of 1989, CBS would sign a seven-year, $1 billion deal to carry the entire tournament. That contract would expose March Madness to a broader audience, and set the event on a course of exponential growth that led to the most recent deal, a 2010 agreement with CBS and Turner for $10.8 billion over 14 years. “The Princeton-Georgetown game happened, and suddenly people said, There’s merit to these people being in,” says former ESPN programming executive Tom Odjakjian. “When CBS decided to do the first two days, that gave the tournament even more credibility.