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Blackburn made his national broadcast television debut on CBS Sports with a Big Ten women's basketball game between Penn State and Michigan State in January, 2008. He later called two 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament games, working afternoon session games at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. He reprised that role in 2009.
By age thirty-one, Blackburn had called the NFL on Fox, the NCAA Basketball Tournament on CBS, and college football on ABC.
Blackburn was born in Dallas, Texas, and grew up in Kerrville, in the Texas Hill Country near San Antonio. Blackburn began his broadcasting career at KERV/KRVL radio during his sophomore year at Tivy High School. By his junior year in high school, he was sports director for the radio station, doing morning drive-time reports on area high school sports and Texas college and pro teams as well as providing play-by-play for radio and TV for football, basketball, softball, and baseball.
He worked for International Sports Properties (ISP) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Fox Sports Net South from 2001 to 2003; among his assignments were games in what became the NBA Development League. He joined CBS College Sports (then known as CSTV) in 2003 when the channel launched. In September 2009 he began broadcasting for ESPN and ESPNU. He provides play-by-play for TV broadcasts of NCAA football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, and lacrosse. In 2011, Blackburn broadcast the 2008 Reebok Grand Prix where Usain Bolt set a new world record in the 100 meters with a time of 9.71. In 2011 Blackburn provided play-by-play for the World Series of Softball tournament in Oklahoma City, OK. In 2012, he replaced Joe Tessitore for the Friday Night Football package for ESPN and ESPN2.
According to an article in the Long Beach Press-Telegram (see below), Blackburn is the second-youngest announcer of an NCAA Tournament game, at least in CBS's run as the telecaster. Jim Nantz was the only one younger (26 years old in 1985).
He also called Little League Baseball games for ESPN.
In August 2014, Blackburn was named by CBS as its lead play-by-play announcer for its sports network. Blackburn will call college basketball, football, and baseball games. On December 27,2014 Blackburn filled in for Verne Lundquist during the 2014 Sun Bowl. Blackburn was a part of the CBS Sports team doing feature group coverage for the 2015 Masters Golf Tournament. He also calls NFL games for CBS on occasion, partnering with Chris Simms for 2015 and 2016.
Blackburn called then-Penn State coach Joe Paterno's record setting 409th win for ABC, Paterno's last game as coach of the Nittany Lions.