2013 NFL Preview: With Blackout Over, CBS Eyes NFL’s Return From Coast to Coast
After a month of darkness in place of CBS programming, Time Warner Cable customers are finally seeing the light, and not a moment too soon: CBS’s regular-season NFL coverage kicks off on Sunday. The blackout, which plagued major markets New York City, Los Angeles, and Dallas, lifted on Monday, saving both sides from taking a hefty cut in both ratings and revenue.
This season marks CBS Sports’ 54th year broadcasting the NFL. The NFL on CBS returns to airwaves at 1 p.m. ET, preceded by The NFL Today one-hour studio show at noon. Last month, CBS announced a new four-hour pregame show, That Other Pregame Show, on CBS Sports Network, which will debut on Sunday at 9 a.m.
CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus, announcing the launch of the show at CBS’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters, said, “Somebody asked me a while ago, is there room for another pregame show on Sunday morning when there’s so much NFL programming on? I said, there is if the show has a different perspective, a different feel, and is a different kind of broadcast.”
That Other Pregame Show, originating out of a studio a mere 15 ft. from The NFL Today set, will break from the traditional pregame-show format and take a significantly more casual approach than The NFL Today.
“We’re coming out of our Studio 44, directly across the hall from our main Studio 43,” said Harold Bryant, VP, production/executive producer, CBS Sports. “Throughout the show, we are going to take hits from the remotes. We’ll go out to Phil Simms and just [have] a conversation. It’s not going to be prepackaged; we want to make this show more interactive, more fun, and just get these guys’ [opinions].”
That Other Pregame Show will be hosted by Adam Schein along with 11-year NFL veteran Bart Scott, long-time Oakland Raiders executive Amy Trask, CBS Sports Radio’s Brandon Tierney, and CBSSports.com fantasy analyst Nathan Zegura, with LEAD OFF’s Allie LaForce reporting.
James Brown returns as host for The NFL Today, now in its 46thseason on CBS, and will be joined by analysts Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe, and Bill Cowher.
CBS Sports will maintain a core game-coverage complement similar to last season’s, with the sleeker graphics package unveiled for Super Bowl XLVII in February.
“We’ll also have Skycam for all of our main games,” said Lance Barrow, coordinating producer and lead game producer for this Sunday’s Cincinnati Bengals-Chicago Bears game. “We’ll have our high-speed camera. Our group is one of the pioneers of high-speed cameras. We brought it out on golf years ago, and now it’s become a standard in our broadcast.”
On Sunday, CBS Sports’ lead NFL announce team of Jim Nantz and Simms will call the Bengals-Bears game live from Soldier Field. Mike Arnold will be lead game director. McManus, in addition to being chairman of CBS Sports, will serve as executive producer of CBS Sports’ NFL coverage. David Berson is president of CBS Sports.