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As the United States’ largest intercollegiate athletic event, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men’s basketball tournament consistently generates high television ratings and attracts higher levels of advertising spending than the Super Bowl or the World Series. Given the limited analysis of the organizational conditions that frame these broadcasts’ production, this study examines the impact of influential actors on the representation process. Using a mixed-method approach, this paper investigates production conditions and processes involved in producing a sample (n = 31) of NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament broadcasts, examines the extent to which these broadcasts are consistent with the NCAA’s educational mission, and considers the dominant institutional logic that underpins their reproduction. In so doing, this analysis provides a critical examination of the 2006 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament broadcasts, and how such broadcasts constitute, and are constituted by, choices in television production structures and practices.
Southall is with EXSS, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. Nagel is with the Dept. of Sport and Entertainment Management, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Amis is with the Dept. of Management, Fogelman College of Business & Economics, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38103. Crystal Southall is with the Dept. of Sport Administration, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO.