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What Would a Moonves Exit Mean to CBS Sports?

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Les Moonves was the subject of an investigative piece by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker. It unearthed multiple women accusing the CBS CEO of sexual harassment and alleged retaliation against those that resisted. CBS has launched an investigation, but Moonves remains in his current job for now. That could change though if the allegations are deemed credible.

Ryan Glasspiegal of The Big Lead took a look at what a potential exit from Moonves could mean for CBS’s play-by-play rights.

If Moonves does wind up being forced out at CBS, it naturally leads to questions about whether and to what extent new network leadership values their live sports packages. CBS and Turner have the NCAA Tournament through 2032 , so that’s not going anywhere. But, their SEC football and NFL packages are up a bit sooner, and there exists the very real possibility a Moonves successor may not value those as much as they’ll cost.

Under Moonves’s leadership, CBS inked a $55 million TV deal for the 3:30pm spotlight game in the SEC each week. That is a value for the package compared to college football deals that have been signed recently. According to Glasspiegal, CBS was already under the impression that they would have to pay a whole lot more to keep the package and they were expecting competition. If ESPN is eager to bring the entire SEC football television slate under its umbrella, the number could conceivably climb higher than a new CBS CEO was willing to go.

The NFL is another story. The CBS rights deal for pro football expires in 2022. CBS has already bowed out of NFL bidding once, letting the Thursday Night Football package go to Fox rather than d bid a higher amount. Moonves values the NFL, so it is hard to know what his exit would mean, but Glasspiegal points out that the NFL might be willing to make compromises to stay on CBS.

For his part, Moonves touted the NFL as still the best property on television last September. The league would also potentially be hesitant to leave CBS, as they love the audiences that broadcast networks can deliver.

Another interesting question may be what happens with CBS play-by-play and analyst talent. Surely they would still honor contracts, but someone like Jim Nantz would be interesting to keep an eye on considering his close relationship with Moonves.

It’s important to note that while multiple women have made accusations against Moonves, no proof has been made public as of yet and CBS is still conducting its investigation. Glasspiegal’s column is merely speculating on how a potential Moonves exit might effect the sports media landscape.

Sports TV News

Joe Buck: ESPN Is Letting Us Set Tone For Monday Night Football

“It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”

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While Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling football games on Monday nights for ESPN instead of Sunday afternoons for FOX this year, fans shouldn’t expect the broadcasts to be that much different, if at all, than what they’ve been used to over the last 20 years. 

Buck was recently a guest on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast and said that ESPN knows that he and Aikman have to be comfortable in order for Monday Night Football to be a success.

“I know we are in the honeymoon phase. I’m not dumb. That stuff wears off after a while. They are like ‘however you guys have always done a game, that’s the way we want you to do a game whether it’s with regard to meetings vs. conference calls or when you guys show up, how you like the booth set up. However you want it, we are going to do it your way’ and that’s to their credit. It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”

Buck and Aikman are obviously already very familiar with each other. Buck said that it will be important not to take that for granted or second guess what they already know.

“I think the one thing Troy and I have to avoid is trying to be different than we’ve been. They hired us based on what we’ve done and who we are and how we relate to each other and the way we see a game,” said Buck. 

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Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys

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The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.

Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.

But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.

Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:

Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.

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Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”

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USA Today

Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.

The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.

Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.

“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”

Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”

He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.

Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.

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