CBS announcers told not to make gambling reference during NFL broadcasts
It can be a bit awkward when sports announcers make gambling references about a particular game during national broadcasts, and CBS does not want its NFL crews taking part in any such commentary during the 2018 season.
On Tuesday, CBS Sports President Sean McManus told Jimmy Traina of SI.com that play-by-play announcers and analysts will not be mentioning point spreads, totals or anything else gambling related when calling NFL games.
At CBS’ NFL Media Day. CBS Sports President Sean McManus just told me CBS NFL announcers will not mention point spreads, teams covering the spreads, etc, during telecasts this season.
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) August 28, 2018
Fans tend to like when announcers make references to gambling, as many viewers have money on the games or are taking part in pools involving spreads and other Las Vegas odds. Al Michaels has always had a penchant for mentioning point spreads and betting odds while calling games, and Joe Buck alluded to that while providing some gambling commentary of his own during an NFL game last year — even if his reference didn’t make much sense.
As you might expect, fans expressed their displeasure in CBS’s decision.
That’s right just keep your heads in the sand and ignore why 75% of people are watching
— r (@legalshieldrob) August 28, 2018
— Mid Major Matt (@MidMajorMatt) August 28, 2018
Why stop now when sports betting is legal in the USA?
— Russell Shiwarski (@125russ) August 28, 2018
The NFL has already expressed concerns about how to handle the legalization of sports gambling, so it would not be a surprise if the league has pressured networks to stop announcers from making betting references.