Senior television executive Dick Ebersol has decades of experience in the world of sports broadcasting.
With his longevity in the TV business, Ebersol told CNN’s Chris Wallace that he’s flabbergasted by the amount of money given to sportscasters because he thinks fans watch the games no matter who the announcers are. .
After 14 seasons in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys and four Pro Bowl selections, Tony Romo retired from the sport in 2017 and became an established football analyst with CBS.
His current long-term deal is said to be worth $17 million a year, but Ebersol, who spent 22 years as president of NBC Sports during a 40-year stint with the company, believes Romo is falling short. to be delivered to the broadcast booth.
“He’s an incredibly engaging guy, he should have been a terrific, great broadcaster,” Ebersol said in an interview with “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” from CNN.
Ebersol added that the former quarterback seems to have “lost his passion” for calling games.
“Something’s happened since he got on that chair. And it doesn’t look like he’s in it like he’s going up. He doesn’t seem like the storyteller he should be. …Tony got further and further away from that, I think.
He said he would “love” being Romo’s producer for six months and could soon “cure” what he sees as the 42-year-old’s flaws as a broadcaster.
“He’s someone who should be an announcer for the ages…and I would often have him in my office – not to kick his ass, but just to keep reminding him of what put him there in the first place. “, Ebersol continued.
However, Ebersol apologized for his comments about Romo on Wednesday, saying, “Tony Romo is like a son to me. I truly am his biggest fan on and off the pitch. As a fan and a producer, I I’ve always been known to offer unsolicited notes.
“But this time, after a long day of interviews, I went too far and frankly said things that I don’t believe and that just aren’t true.
“No announcer is more passionate about the NFL than Tony Romo, and personally, I can’t wait to hear his call this Sunday and every Sunday. He’s as good as he gets.
Romo established a reputation as a well-respected NFL co-commentator and proved an instant hit with his colleagues, so much so that play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz called him “Romostradamus during the 2019 AFC Championship game between New England. The Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs after Romo correctly predicted upcoming plays and strategy.
CNN has reached out to Romo and CBS for a response to Ebersol’s comments.
While at NBC, Ebersol oversaw “Saturday Night Live,” developed the concept for Sunday Night Football, and earned NBC status as a longtime Olympic Games rights holder before stepping down as executive director. NBC Sports in 2011.
Romo isn’t the only one to command a multimillion-dollar contract as a sportscaster: After retiring from football, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady would earn $375 million as a broadcaster with Fox Sports.
“You can go back and read all the different stories about guys getting gargantuan salaries, or women getting gargantuan salaries by NBC – in my years – you won’t find them there,” Ebersol said.
“We didn’t pay for this stuff because I thought the equipment we had was the best. We had the Olympics, we had the NFL, at one point we had the NBA, we had things that these people really wanted to do. And it was a huge attraction.