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Gene Steratore Joins SEC On CBS

“The conference told its broadcast partners that it wanted them to include a rules analyst for 2019 football broadcasts.”

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CBS is keeping Gene Steratore busy. The network is already using the former NFL and college basketball referee as their rules analyst for broadcasts of those two sports. Now, he will add college football to his list of duties.

Gene Steratore will be the rules analyst for the SEC on CBS. The conference told its broadcast partners that it wanted them to include a rules analyst for 2019 football broadcasts. Steratore will join play-by-play man Brad Nessler, analyst Gary Danielson, and sideline reporter Jamie Erdahl when a new season of the SEC on CBS begins with the Alabama Crimson Tide visiting the South Carolina Gamecocks on September 14.

“Gene had an impressive first season. Expanding his role to include the SEC ON CBS felt like a natural progression,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said in a press release. “His knowledge and expertise of the rules, combined with his ability to quickly interpret and explain calls in a concise manner, will allow him to adjust to the nuances and differences of the college game and provide our viewers with a better understanding of the rules.”

Steratore will be in the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City on Saturdays watching the game and reviewing calls.

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Amazon Was Willing to Pay More Than CBS and NBC for Big Ten Rights

CBS and NBC will both pay $350 million per year to the Big Ten as part of the deal.

Jordan Bondurant

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Amazon, Big Ten

The Big Ten officially announced its long-anticipated new media rights deal on Thursday. As previously reported, FOX, CBS and NBC will be the conference’s partners in the billion-dollar deal.

But tech giants Amazon and Apple were left out of the final agreement. For games that air on CBS, coverage will also be carried on Paramount+, while Peacock will stream games that air on NBC.

So the need for an exclusive streaming partner in this deal seemed to be a direction the Big Ten didn’t want to go in, despite reports that Amazon was prepared to shell out way more than what NBC and CBS will be paying.

That’s according to Richard Deitsch of The Athletic, who reported the tech giant had its sights set on the 3:30 p.m. broadcast window, which ultimately went to CBS.

CBS and NBC will both pay $350 million per year to the Big Ten as part of the deal.

With the Big Ten deal done and nothing to show for it, Amazon could potentially look at acquiring rights to the Pac-12 if it wants to add college sports to its Prime Video offerings.

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ESPN Could Still Land Some Big Ten Media Rights

“We’ll continue to be good partners with them in a slightly different way than we have.”

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ESPN, BIG TEN

The Big Ten announced the conference’s newest slate of media rights deals on Thursday. The conference confirmed it has partnered with NBC, CBS and FOX for the next seven years. The one glaring outsider is ESPN. However, even though the two may have parted ways after this current media rights deal has expired, there may still be a way to see Big Ten products on ESPN.

In an article from Pat Forde from Sports Illustrated, sources indicate to him the network may still be able to ink an agreement to carry Big Ten contests as a sublicensee. He notes the most likely sport that would happen in is men’s basketball.

“We have one more year with them,” Warren said of ESPN and the 2022–23 season. “They’re professionals, we’re professionals, and we’ve had a close relationship with them for a long time.”

“I don’t think we expect this will be the end of the relationship. We’ll continue to be good partners with them in a slightly different way than we have.”

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Roxy Bernstein: ‘Bill Walton’s Persona Is An Entertaining Act’

“But Bill, I think this is good simulation for him.”

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One of the enduring broadcast themes of college basketball season is Bill Walton’s calling Pac-12 games and doing so with a but of an untethered flare. Roxy Bernstein, one of Walton’s broadcast partners, says it’s a deliberate attempt to be interesting.

“I think people see this caricature on television,” Bernstein said. “Let me clue you in on a secret and pull back the curtain here: it’s an act.”

Bernstein made these comments as a guest on Announcer Schedules the Podcast. He talked about Walton’s style being one that suits him to satisfy his own happiness.

“If he wanted to be a cookie-cutter analyst, he’s done that. He could do it,” commented Bernstein. “But Bill, I think this is good simulation for him. His ability to inform the audience and make it a well-rounded broadcast, to culture the audience so there’s just laser-focused in on this game.”

Bernstein also noted that when you see Walton and his play-by-play partner for the first time on television, it’s often the first time they are speaking to each other.

“He never opens the door to what is going to happen that night,” said Bernstein. “Essentially the first conversation of that day that we are having is, ‘Hi, welcome to Pauley Pavilion. Along with the Hall of Famer Bill Walton, I’m Roxy Bernstein’. That’s the first time we are really talking all day.”

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