Don’t expect to hear any sly references to gambling during NFL broadcasts on CBS in 2018. Announcers for the network will not mention point spreads or teams covering the spread on any broadcast, according to Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated.
CBS president Sean McManus told Traina the news at the company’s NFL Media Day.
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
CBS decision on gambling comes at a time when gambling is legal
While some states have jumped at the opportunity, the NFL has been cautious in its response to the news. Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement after that ruling that was more focused on “protecting the integrity of our sport.” Goodell also mentioned that the league has considered the issue for some time, and will address the changes in a “thoughtful and comprehensive way.”
Gambling isn’t normally talked about on NFL broadcasts
During most broadcasts, you’re not going to hear an announcer directly address a point spread or an over/under. However, there are announcers who will sneak gambling references into broadcasts in creative ways.
Gambling talk during sports broadcasts a divisive issue
Responses to Traina’s tweet have been met with mixed responses from fans. Some are upset that CBS will just ignore the issue. Others don’t feel making allusions to gambling is necessary during a game.
This is still a new issue for sports leagues and television networks. CBS’s first response was to limit gambling conversation during games on the network. That view could evolve as everyone gets more comfortable with the new normal.
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