SBD/August 22, 2012/Media

CBS Sports Network To Launch Its First Original NFL Programming

CBS will air NFL content on CBS Sports Network for the first time this upcoming season, and the broadcaster is planning to create more original programming for the cable network. CBSSN is in an estimated 47 million homes, and CBS wants to use NFL shows to drive distribution. “This is our first foray into NFL regularly-scheduled programming,” CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus said yesterday following the net’s annual NFL media roundtable. The new show is called “NFL Monday QB," and Phil Simms, Rich Gannon and Steve Beuerlein will serve as the three co-hosts throughout the season every week. It will feature CBS analysts like Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason and Dan Fouts. CBS yesterday also confirmed media reports that it has sold 85% of its ad inventory for the NFL season and Super Bowl XLVII, with 30-second spots for the title game going for as high as $3.8M. Advertisers include Anheuser-Busch and Pepsi, and CBS execs said the automotive category is very aggressive. CBS also has sold entitlements to all of its CBS pre- and post-game shows, but declined to disclose the companies (Daniel Kaplan, SportsBusiness Journal).

WHO'S IN THE BOOTH?
In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley noted CBS’ NFL announcing roster “remains virtually the same as last year,” with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms as the top pairing, followed by Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf, Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts, Marv Albert and Rich Gannon, Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots, Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker and Spero Dedes and Steve Beuerlein. Don Criqui and Randy Cross "are not listed this year” (JSONLINE.com, 8/21).

LEADING MAN
: BROADCASTING & CABLE’s Tim Baysinger profiles CBS Coordinating & Lead NFL Producer Lance Barrow and writes it is Barrow’s “level-headedness that gives CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus the peace of mind of knowing the broadcast is in the perfect hands of a guy who never drops the ball.” The net is in the “early stages of planning its coverage” for the Super Bowl, but “without quite showing his cards at this early date, Barrow at least offers that the XLVII broadcast will include ‘other little tweaks that probably have never been used before.’” Barrow said, “I wouldn’t want to work for anyone else.” Barrow also has “worked on the network’s basketball, NASCAR and Olympics coverage.” While he has been in his current position for CBS' NFL coverage since ‘04, Barrow also has “been running their golf broadcasts since 1997” (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 8/13 issue).
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