CBS and Turner Sports to pay all NCAA tournament technicians and freelancers

CBS and Turner Sports to pay all NCAA tournament technicians and freelancers

Scott Gleeson

Published 1: 51 PM EDT Mar 17, 2020

With the NCAA tournament canceled, coaches and players were left heartbroken they wouldn’t have a chance to conclude their season in March Madness. Sports fans were likewise crestfallen because they’ll have no brackets to fill out or a marathon of games to watch. 

But what about the workers behind the scenes?

CBS Sports and Turner Sports will be paying all technicians and utility workers, including freelancers, who were slated to work in studios, broadcast centers and editing rooms during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, Final Four weekend, and Division II and Division III championship games, according to two CBS and Turner officials who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to detail the matter publicly.

The First Four was set to begin today in Dayton, Ohio.

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Robert Prunn, director for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Broadcasting and Telecommunications), told Sports Video Group their contracted employees will receive pay for “straight-time hours” on a weekly payroll set-up for each of the days they were scheduled to work. Additionally, the TV networks will make “corresponding benefit contributions to the Flex Plan and Entertainment Industry 401K plan.”

“The IBEW extends its sincerest thanks to CBS Sports for this incredible gesture towards our freelance members,” Prunn said. “We especially would like to recognize the efforts of (CBS Sports EVP, 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.”

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