Angry at Fox, CBS to keep pre-game show

January 12, 1994|By New York Daily News

NEW YORK -- Despite losing NFL TV rights to the Fox Network, CBS will keep its hand in the game next season by continuing "The NFL Today" pre-game show.

CBS yesterday confirmed its decision to do an hour-long version (noon-1 p.m. EST) of the popular show, which previously ran a half-hour. CBS Broadcast Group president Howard Stringer announced the plan during a closed-door meeting Monday night with CBS affiliates attending a three-day session at the La Costa resort in Carlsbad, Calif.

CBS's decision opens the door to a few questions, such as who will appear on the show? Current host Greg Gumbel's CBS contract expires in the fall. Co-host Terry Bradshaw will be a free agent after the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 23. But it appears that CBS already has made him an offer to stay. Bradshaw will now have to weigh that offer (a four-year package reported to be worth $1.5 million per) with one he also has received from Fox.

Stringer apparently lowered the verbal boom on Fox during the Monday night session. An affiliate member told Daily Variety, the show business trade publication: "I have never seen Stringer more [angry]. He really is furious and intends to punish Fox in every way he can. It's going to be a real grudge match. . . . The corporate spin is 'Don't panic; this is going to be a long war.' "

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