SBD/Issue 236/Sports Media

CBS Announces Broadcast Partnerships For '09 NFL Season

CBS Sports yesterday announced the broadcast announcer pairings for its '09 NFL game telecasts. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms return as the net's No. 1 team (CBS). There are “few changes at the very top, but there are some more the rest of the way down the line” (, 8/25).

Jim Nantz
Phil Simms
Greg Gumbel
Dan Dierdorf
Dick Enberg
Dan Fouts
Kevin Harlan
Solomon Wilcots
Ian Eagle
Rich Gannon
Gus Johnson
Steve Tasker
Don Criqui
Randy Cross
Bill Macatee
Steve Beuerlein

EYES ON THE FIELD: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes ESPN's "MNF" so far this season is "focusing on football." ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer Jay Rothman: "The goal will be to deliver the game. Fans are tuning in for a game. They want football." ESPN "MNF" analyst Jon Gruden said broadcasting is "a lot more pressure" than coaching. But Rothman said Gruden is "fabulous; he could be an all-timer in this business, really." Rothman added that he is "not worried about Gruden seeing TV as just a season-long pit stop between coaching jobs" (USA TODAY, 8/26).

BETTER TOGETHER: CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus said of NBC and the NFL extending their broadcast partnership and all the league's TV contracts now expiring after the '13 season, "The NFL has always had their deals expiring together. It’s always the best way to negotiate it." McManus: "When you have kind of an equal term for each of the networks, it allows you to have some flexibility, so if you want to move a package, as the NFL did last time, from ABC to NBC, or, the time before that, from NBC to CBS, it allows you a lot of movement. The NFL, especially in a down economy, just like CBS, is looking for security." Meanwhile, McManus said if the league had "come to us and said, ‘We want to do a 10-year extension,’ as long as it made sense for us financially, we would have done a 10-year extension." McManus: "Security’s a good thing in a good marketplace, but security’s even better in a down marketplace" (, 8/25).

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