The Jim Nantz-CBS Contract Standoff Is Spicy

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In the New York Post today, Andrew Marchand projects a spicy standoff between CBS and the face of their sports broadcasting division, Jim Nantz. Nantz reportedly makes $6.5 million per year, but his deal is up next year and he now wants to be compensated at the level of his NFL partner Tony Romo, who makes over $17 million annually. According to the report, Joe Buck and Mike Tirico make approximately $10 million per year from FOX and NBC.

In addition to being their top NFL play-caller, Nantz calls The Masters and Final Four for CBS. If CBS and Nantz can’t reach an agreement, however, CBS has Ian Eagle potentially waiting in the wings. Eagle’s deal is also up next year. If either one can’t reach an agreement with CBS, it is plausible that ESPN/ABC, which are in the market for incremental NFL programming, could make a bid for them.

Nantz is 61 years old, and he’s not going to get a better suite of events if he were to leave CBS. He does have considerable value as a steady hand, especially since ESPN is now on their third play-by-play person for Monday Night Football since Mike Tirico left. They moved on from Sean McDonough and then Joe Tessitore, and now Steve Levy is on the call.

The other juicy part of the story is that Nantz is reportedly protective of his rapport with Tony Romo, and he did not want anybody else working with him this past weekend while Nantz was calling The Masters. CBS issued a statement saying that producers from the NFL team were also working on The Masters and that it therefore made sense for continuity purposes to keep the top whole crew off the NFL game.

These will surely be tense negotiations, and it’ll be pretty fascinating to see what happens.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. Jim Nantz just made the comment over the weekend that he wants to hold the record for most years being a sportscaster for the Masters. Golf is his primary love. He lives on Pebble Beach. He has a replica of Pebble Beach hole number 7 in his backyard. There is zero chance he leaves CBS.

    • Maybe not, but if the market for Tony Romo was $17M, Nantz should be getting at least that. Romo does 17 NFL games a year. But every year Nantz does 17 NFL games, the Superbowl, 50+ NCAA basketball games including the NCAA tournament, numerous PGA events, the Masters, the Olympics, etc.

      • I don’t disagree, but I don’t watch any game that Nantz calls, but I do for Romo. I’l watch teams I have no real interest in because Romo makes the game fun. He explains plays so well, and he has such joy in calling a game. Nantz may do more, but Romo brings viewership, which corresponds to more revenue.

  2. Is Tony Romo making more now than when he played? (Message to Jim Nantz: You better shop around to see what the market is for you. Tony was in-demand when his contract hit.)

  3. There is nothing more nauseous than Jim Nance sharing his flowery thoughts when introducing any number of events, but especially the Masters. I wouldn’t give him any more money. Let him walk. Tony Romo doesn’t deserve $17 million a year but at least he’s fun to listen to. Nance, not at all.

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