Sports fans may have to wait another two years for a live broadcast of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 2018.
The broadcast of that event has been pushed back from October to March 2019 after a major technical issue led to the loss of key data, according to sources familiar with the situation.
In addition to the tournament, the NCAA will host a college basketball championship game, a college football championship game and a women’s basketball championship.
The NCAA announced the delay of the March 19 title game, which is expected to be a blowout and could potentially lead to a game being postponed.
The network said in a statement Friday that the delay was due to the network having to install software that “improved our ability to provide high quality video to our customers, including a significant number of television subscribers, in order to support the events on the schedule.”
“As a result, the tournament will be delayed to March 20, 2019, and we are currently evaluating options to mitigate the impact of the issues on our customers and our ability for them to watch the tournament,” the network said.
The tournament will not be broadcast on CBS or ESPN, two of the biggest sports networks, and will not air on Fox Sports 1, which has a deal with the NCAA that allows it to broadcast games at the same time on other networks.
CBS is the network most closely aligned with the men’s team, while ESPN has an agreement with the women’s team.
The NCAA is working to get a fix for the technical issue that affected the broadcast of last month’s men’s Final Four, which drew an estimated 6.3 million viewers, according the Associated Press.
The tournament will return to primetime this fall on CBS and ESPN, which will air the NCAA championship games.