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Volume 23 No. 29
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Albert, agent enlist Montag to negotiate broadcaster’s contract to call boxing for NBC

When NBC approached Marv Albert about becoming the blow-by-blow announcer for its new Saturday night boxing programming, Albert knew it was going to be a delicate negotiation.

Albert is under long-term contracts with both CBS for college basketball and Turner Sports for college basketball and the NBA, and it was going to require permission from both networks for him to work at NBC, as well.

Albert has long-term deals with CBS, Turner Sports.
Photo by: NBAE / GETTY IMAGES
“It is unusual to be working with a possibility of three networks,” Albert said.

Albert has been represented by Hollywood business manager and agent Evan Bell for at least 30 years, but they both decided to turn to longtime IMG sports broadcasting agent Sandy Montag for help in the negotiation.

“Both Evan and I have respect for Sandy, and I have known Sandy over the years,” Albert said. “He has so many relationships, and it was kind of a complicated situation with the boxing, you know. I had to get permission from both David Levy … of Turner Sports and Sean McManus … of CBS Sports to be able to do it for Mark Lazarus at NBC.”

Montag and Bell got the permission and did the NBC deal. And Montag and Bell, who counts film director Steven Soderbergh and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly among his clients, will work together for Albert on deals going forward, Albert said.

For Montag, having Albert call was as close as it comes to a childhood dream come true. When Montag was a kid growing up in New York, Albert was his idol.

“When I was 8 years old — and I still have the cassette tape — I was trying to do Marv Albert,” Montag said. “He started doing radio in New York, the Knicks and the Rangers, and he did both at the same time.

“And when Marv Albert said, ‘I would like you to retain me to help me in my career, I was like, ‘You had me at hello.’”

Albert said that Montag told him he used to sit outside the booth where Albert was broadcasting, mostly at the Knicks games, when he was a child. “I grew up in Brooklyn,” Albert said. “I used to do the same thing when Vin Scully was announcing in Brooklyn.”