Home sport Legendary commentator Jim Nantz connects the CFL to CBS while broadcasting the PGA Tour

Legendary commentator Jim Nantz connects the CFL to CBS while broadcasting the PGA Tour

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Image courtesy: AP Photo/Gregory Payan

After years of thought after thought for America’s sports leader, the CFL’s new American television deal with CBS Sports does indeed deliver on the promise of increased marketing – and comes courtesy of one of sports’ most iconic voices.

On Saturday, Canadian fans who tuned in to live coverage of the 2023 PGA Memorial Championship were thrilled to hear legendary commentator Jim Nantz present his company’s coverage of CBS Sports’ inaugural season. The ad was accompanied by an onscreen infographic inviting viewers to tune in on Thursday, June 8 at 9 PM EST to watch the BC Lions take on the Calgary Stampeders.

Screenshot provided by Craig Smith

Any form of advertising on American television is a welcome change for the CFL — let alone one on the major network — but the acquisition of Nantz is particularly noteworthy. The 64-year-old broadcaster has been a TV staple since the mid-1980s and is known for his coverage of the PGA Tour, college basketball, and the NFL. He’s been the lead voice of the NFL on CBS since 2004, working with Phil Simms and later Tony Romo, and has called six Super Bowls.

The CFL announced in April a multi-year deal with CBS Sports Network that will see it air 34 games in 2023, including the season opener.

While CBS has the option to catch more games, including the playoffs and the Gray Cup, the rest of the CFL schedule will be available to stream for free in the United States using the league’s new digital platform, CFL+.

The move was a significant departure from the league’s longstanding previous partnership with ESPN, which aired every game in one form or another on its own set of channels or digital platform. While CBS Sports Network would carry less than half of the league’s games to its smaller subscriber base, the deal represented a major financial boost for the CFL at $1 million annually and came with assurances regarding active marketing of the product.

Although the network’s first CFL broadcast is still a long way off, it looks like they’re living up to their end of the bargain.

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