|The SEC on CBS|
The SEC on CBS logo
|Created by||CBS Sports|
Verne Lundquist |
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||N/A|
|Running time||210 minutes+|
480i (SDTV), |
|Original airing||September 22, 2001 - present|
The SEC on CBS (known for sponsorship purposes as The Home Depot SEC on CBS) is a presentation of the college football television package owned by CBS Sports. The television network broadcasts games in the Southeastern Conference of Division I FBS NCAA football.
CBS has been televising College Football games since it launched a sports division, and did so on a weekly basis during a period from the 1950s to 1966, when ABC gained exclusive rights the NCAA contract, barring any other network from televsing regular season games and reducing CBS' telecasts to bowl games such as the Fiesta Bowl and Cotton Bowl Classic, as well as a bowl that continues to air on the network to this day, the Sun Bowl.
In 1982, CBS was made an additional partner in the NCAA contract, and regular season collegiate football coverage returned. CBS and ABC would alternate the 12:30 and 3:30 slots from week to week during the seasons,carrying either a national game or several regional games in those frames., and also occasionally aired games in primetime, and on Black Friday, or the Friday after Thanksgiving. CBS broadcast games from every major conference, as well as the games of the then major independents such as Penn State, Notre Dame, and Miami. As required by the NCAA, the network also televised Division I-AA, II and III games to very small audiences, giving teams such as The Citadel and Clarion State some major-network exposure. The pregame show was titled The NCAA Today in the vein of its pro football counterpart The NFL Today. Both shows were hosted by Brent Musburger. However for the NCAA pregame show, Pat O'Brien and Ara Parseghian were the analysts/feature reporters, although Lesley Visser made occasional appearances on the show. Gary Bender was the lead play-by-play man for game coverage, working with analysts such as Pat Haden and Steve Davis. Other CBS game commetators were Verne Lundquist, Lindsey Nelson, Frank Herzog, Jack Snow, and Dennis Franklin. This arrangement was in place during the 1982 and 1983 seasons.
In 1984, after the NCAA's TV contract was ruled antitrust by the US Supreme court, it was invalidated, and the College Football Association was formed to handle affairs between television networks and College Football programs, the result was an exclusive contract with ABC that granted the network rights to all CFA partner conference games and the games of most major independents. However the Big Ten and Pac-Ten conferences were not included in this package, and signed their own agreement with CBS. Miami also reached an agreement for CBS to televise it's most important home games, and in 1985, the Atlantic Coast Conference was added to CBS' list of College Football properties. Brent Musburger took over the role of lead play-by-play voice, with Ara Parseghian moving to the booth with him.
In 1987, CBS took over the CFA contract, which it would hold until 1990, after that year, ABC obtained exclusive network coveage of regular season College Football, as it won back the CFA and retained the Pac-10/Big Ten rights.
As the 1990s began, CBS' Division I-A college football coverage was reduced to its bowl game contracts, which it had with the then-John Hancock Bowl (reverted to Sun Bowl in 1994), the Cotton Bowl Classic, and the then-Blockbuster Bowl. After having the rights to the game since 1958, CBS lost the rights to the Cotton Bowl Classic following the 1992 game to NBC, leaving the network with just two bowl game contracts to round out its college football coverage. CBS televised Major League Baseball from 1990–1993, thus the network was not without major sports coverage on fall Saturdays after the loss of college football.
For 1995, CBS re-acquired the rights to the Cotton Bowl Classic, as well as acquiring the rights to two of the three bowl games in the newly formed Bowl Alliance, which was formed following the season to help determine an undisputed national champion (as a precursor to the Bowl Championship Series). Under the terms of the contract, which ran from 1995 through 1997, CBS aired the Fiesta Bowl and Orange Bowl, which guaranteed the network two opportunities to air a national championship game (CBS did not gain rights to the Sugar Bowl, the third bowl in the Bowl Alliance, as those were retained by ABC). CBS was the first network to air a Bowl Alliance national championship game, as Nebraska defeated Florida in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. (On the same token, CBS also aired the last Bowl Alliance national championship game, where Nebraska defeated Tennessee in the 1998 Orange Bowl to split that year's national championship vote as Michigan, who was #1 in both the AP and coaches' polls going into the bowls, with the latter contractually obligated to name the Nebraska–Tennessee winner as the national champion, was obligated to play in that year's Rose Bowl.) CBS also continued to air the Sun Bowl, but lost the rights to the Carquest Bowl after the game was moved from New Year's Day following the Orange Bowl's move to the home of the Carquest Bowl, Joe Robbie Stadium.
CBS returned to full-time college football coverage in 1996, as the network signed television contracts with the Big East and SEC to be the exclusive national television home of their in-conference schedule. The coverage was originally branded College Football on CBS, sponsored initially by Nasdaq, a tag it retains for non-SEC games broadcasted over the network. In addition to its contracts with the conferences CBS also became the exclusive home of the annual Army-Navy Game (succeeding ABC), a contract it has retained since, and also has the rights to the annual Notre Dame–Navy game in even numbered years, when Navy is the home team.
CBS lost the rights to three of its bowl games following the 1997 season, as ABC gained the rights to the Orange and Fiesta Bowls as the exclusive television home of the newly formed Bowl Championship Series and Fox bought the rights to the Cotton Bowl Classic. However, beginning in 2001 CBS became the home of the SEC Championship Game, the rights to which had been retained by ABC following the SEC's move. Following the 2000 season, the Big East decided not to renew its contract with CBS and instead signed with ABC. Shortly thereafter, CBS' SEC football coverage was rebranded to show its exclusivity. CBS aired the Gator Bowl from 2007–2010, its biggest bowl pick-up since the Orange and Fiesta Bowls.
Today CBS airs the top SEC weekly in-conference games as well as rivalry games between SEC members and various other conferences; the network shares the rights to SEC conference games with the ESPN family of networks, which also airs the interconference rivalry games when the SEC team is not the home team. CBS has retained its yearly broadcast contracts with the Army-Navy game and the Sun Bowl, as well as its biannual contract with Notre Dame and Navy.
In 2011, in addition to Army-Navy CBS also broadcast the other two service academy games – Navy-Air Force on October 1 and Army-Air Force November 5, 2011.
The games aired on this package are the premiere SEC matchups of the week. Top teams like the Alabama Crimson Tide, Auburn Tigers, Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Tennessee Volunteers, Arkansas Razorbacks, and the LSU Tigers usually appear on these telecasts. Florida has the most appearances with 74, followed by Alabama and Tennessee with 54 each and LSU with 51. The ESPN family of networks get the subsequent picks of games among the SEC's national television partners.
During the regular season, typical games that shown almost every year include Florida-Tennessee (aired for the 16th straight year in 2011), Florida-Georgia (all but 2002), Auburn-Alabama (2000–2002, 2004–2006, 2008–2010), LSU-Florida (all but 2002, 2004, and 2010), LSU-Ole Miss (2003, 2007–2010), and LSU-Arkansas (all but 2009), the last of which is traditionally aired the day after Thanksgiving. In addition, the interconference rivalry games, Florida-Florida State and Georgia-Georgia Tech, often air on the network when the SEC schools host the games (otherwise, those games air on ABC or the ESPN family of networks, as the ACC's contracts dictate). When the interconference rivalries air on CBS, the broadcasts are generally branded as College Football on CBS instead of SEC on CBS. In addition, CBS will occasionally televise games where SEC schools host marquee non-conference foes, such as the Miami Hurricanes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Since 2001, the SEC Championship Game has been televised by CBS.
CBS Sports Network re-airs the previous Saturday game several times throughout the following week.
Since 1996 - does not include bowl games
- Verne Lundquist/Gary Danielson/Tracy Wolfson
- Spero Dedes/Steve Beuerlein/Lewis Johnson
- Ian Eagle/Randy Cross
The current #1 commentators for the telecasts, which traditionally air either Saturday afternoons or evenings, are Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (color), and Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter). Tim Brando (host) and Spencer Tillman (analyst) make up the studio team with Archie Manning and Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution frequenting as guest analyst. The current #2 commentators are Spero Dedes (play-by-play) and Steve Beuerlein, who announce three games in odd years, and four games in even years when CBS televises the Notre Dame-Navy game. Don Criqui and Dan Fouts called the 2008 LSU-Arkansas game in Little Rock, their only CBS college football assignment to date together. Don Criqui also announced the 1998 and 2000 LSU-Arkansas game in Little Rock. Ian Eagle and Randy Cross called Air Force Falcons vs Navy Midshipmen as part of Saturday afternoon and night Tripleheader.
- TIAA-CREF College Football Today (Pre-game show aired at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time and simlucast on CBS College Sports Network prior to their 3:30 p.m. college game)
- Starting Lineups presented by Chick-Fil-A
- Liberty Mutual Update (Throughout the game)
- The Hartford Playbook
- Geico Halftime Report
- First Half Trends Presented by Enterprise Rent-a-Car (At start of second half)
- Aflac Trivia Question Verne Lundquist Quack the Aflac duck
- The Jack Links Beef Jerky Action Cam
- The Home Depot Tools for Success
- Geico Scoring Recap (Aired early in the fourth quarter)
- Red Lobster Scholar Athlete
- DirecTV Player of the Game (Near the game's conclusion)
- Five-Star Play of the Game Presented by NAPA Auto Parts (Near the game's conclusion)
- Geico Post-game Show (Time permitting, if game ended before 7:00 p.m.)
In addition, CBS College Sports Network aired the hour-long SEC Post-Game Show Presented by Geico at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, featuring the wrapup of the CBS SEC game.
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